Comeback Coolers send supplies to Florida following Hurricane Ian

Volunteers load hundreds of coolers on trucks.
Published: Oct. 5, 2022 at 10:20 PM CDT
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OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (WLOX) - The Gulf Coast is pulling together to lend a hand to Florida following the destruction of Hurricane Ian.

Coolers line the parking lot of an Ocean Springs lumber store. Volunteers are filling water, Gatorade, and supplies into cases, and there’s one destination in mind: southwest Florida.

Comeback Coolers Director of Operations Cathy Wildschuetz said hundreds showed up to load donations.

“Packing coolers getting them ready. We had for the past week since the hurricane. We’ve had a drive of people bringing in drinks, coolers so we can take them down there,” said Wildschuetz.

South Mississippi is no stranger to severe weather. She said it’s important uplift all neighbors...even those hundreds of miles away.

“We are survivors of storms here on the Gulf Coast. We get it. Anywhere that there’s a storm, the community here feels it. This is our 21st mission and we are just so proud to be down to Florida and giving them hope,” said Wildschuetz.

“I went through Katrina when I was 10 so it makes me happy in the heart, it kind if swells up just a little bit while we took care of people then, people are also taking care of us,” said Tommy Clifford II.

Even young people such as Katy Lynn rolled up their sleeves to help. She and many others wrote encouraging words for families impacted by Hurricane Ian.

“We decorated these coolers and we put things that said stay strong because they almost lost everything,” said Lynn.

Just over 600 coolers were packed in just two hours...

“We’re going to be one of the first people that they see. We show up to their house. They don’t have to go to a distribution center and just be a number,” said Wildschuetz.

A truck from Texas brought an additional 300 coolers. Deliveries will be made to southwest Florida on Saturday.

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