GEM continues to send supplies to communities affected after Hurricane Idalia makes landfall in Florida

DORAL, Fla. – The Global Empowerment Mission in Doral continued its mission Wednesday by preparing vans and tractor-trailers to deliver supplies to those hit hard by Hurricane Idalia in northern Florida.

Local 10 News spoke with Chief Development Officer Patrick Lynch, of GEM, who explained the strategy behind sending family necessity kits to those in need.

“South Florida is no stranger to storms like these. Starting yesterday, we were already mobilizing our teams, mobilizing our volunteers and yesterday we sent up two tractor trailers filled with aid,” Lynch said.

It is part of an effort that began Tuesday, as workers and volunteers were seen packing up so-called “family kits,” which include everyday hygiene items such as soap, toothpaste and toothbrushes, among other things.

A Local 10 News crew was at GEM headquarters in Doral where dozens of volunteers were hard at work packing supplies that were sent to hurricane survivors.

GEM is also sending non-perishable food items, like canned vegetables, bottled water and anything that a family would need to get by in the aftermath of a storm.

Workers and volunteers were seen loading each box onto a palette, which was then wrapped in plastic before being loaded onto an 18-wheeler.

Lynch told Local 10 News that two separate trucks left on Tuesday, carrying nearly 50,000 pounds of relief supplies. A third truck left around noon and each one will be heading to some of the hardest hit areas in north Florida, with one already arriving in the Perry area, and another one staging in Lake City.

Volunteers will be back at GEM headquarters on Thursday and Friday to continue packing necessities for victims.

“Cash donations always go the furthest,” said Lynch. “With $10 we can buy more with our partners than somebody might be able to get at their local grocery store. So, if folks are willing, every little bit helps. $5,10, 20 dollars goes a long way at a time like this.”

GEM is seeking volunteers and donations to help victims in need. For more information, click here.

(Global Empowerment System)

About the Authors:

Trent Kelly is an award-winning multimedia journalist who joined the Local 10 News team in June 2018. Trent is no stranger to Florida. Born in Tampa, he attended the University of Florida in Gainesville, where he graduated with honors from the UF College of Journalism and Communications.

Ryan Mackey is a Digital Journalist at WPLG. He was born in Long Island, New York, and has lived in Sunrise, Florida since 1994.