Michiana realtor helping provide disaster aid to gulf coast

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. --One local business in Mishawaka is partnering with Reach Out America to lend a hand to folks down in the gulf coast.

Jim McKinnies, the owner of McKinnies Realty is partnering with Reach Out America, a national organization that provides disaster recovery aid to families.

“This is what we’re doing in a small way, through business, through churches, through lots of different avenues,” McKinnies said. “But, the bottom line is, we’re all about trying to help people because we need to come together as a community and as a country especially for families in need,”

McKinnies said he saw what Pastor Michael Faulk in Cumberland, Indiana was doing to help those affected by hurricane Laura that he decided to join. The idea is to fill a 20-foot trailer with donated items that will be taken to Lake Charles, Louisiana next week. Last month hurricane Laura hit the gulf as a category four storm. It tore apart homes and businesses- and left thousands of people without power in both Texas and Louisiana.

People can drop off supplies at McKinnies Realty or Christ Temple Apostolic Church in South Bend. On Wednesday, Sept 9, McKinnies will drive down to Cumberland to give Pastor Faulk the donated items. Pastor Faulk will then drive to Lake Charles to drop off the items.

“Our goal is what you’re giving supply wise, if you give that tomorrow it’s going to be in the hands of somebody very soon,” McKinnies said. “That’s why we’re doing it very short. Pastor Faulk is going to be in that trailer, driving it down to Lake Charles. I believe he’s leaving September 11.”

Items can be dropped off by Tuesday, Sept. 8 at McKinnies Realty. But, keep in mind the office will be closed on Labor Day weekend. Donations can be dropped off at Christ Temple Apostolic Church on Sunday or you can make a direct donation by contacting Jim McKinnies at (574) 229-8808.

“We’re a little bit further away, so sometimes we can be disconnected from what’s happening. But, some families are in desperate need right now and this is a small way for us as a community to come together and help other families,” McKinnies said.

Full list of items:

  • Paper plates
  • Paper cups
  • Plastic Utensils
  • Toilet paper
  • Paper Towels
  • Tarps
  • Visqueen                            
  • 1x2 wood strips
  • 2 &3 inch screws
  • Simplex roofing nails
  • Generators
  • Chainsaws
  • Gas
  • Garden Watering Cans
  • Small window AC's
  • Portable AC's
  • Gatorade
  • Water
  • Heavy-duty trash bags
  • Wet ones
  • Baby Wipes
  • Hand Sanitzer
  • Mosquito Spray
  • Flashlight w/batteries
  • Batteries
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Fruit cups
  • Fruit bars
  • Any snack foods (granola, nuts, chips)







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