UNION COUNTY — With the exception of a few power outages and fallen trees and, heartbreakingly, one tragic death, Union County was largely spared the ravages of Hurricane Florence, but other communities in South Carolina were not so fortunate.
That’s why three organizations in Union County are coming together with a local state legislative candidate to collect badly needed supplies for the people of those less fortunate communities.
Doug Gilliam, Republican candidate for the SC House of Representatives District 42 seat, is teaming with WBCU, the Union County Health Care Foundation, and Taneyhill’s Group Therapy to sponsor a “Here To Help” Hurricane Relief effort to collect the following supplies for distribution to help the residents of the communities affected by Hurricane Florence:
• Cleaning Supplies
• Latex Gloves
• Trash Bags
• Paper Towels
• Personal Hygiene
• Hand Sanitizer
• Toilet Paper
• Granola Bars
• Baby Food
• Peanut Butter
• Non-Perishable Items
• First Aid Supplies
Donated supplies can be dropped off at the Union National Guard Armory, 165 Industrial Park Road, Union each day this week from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. through Friday.
Greta Bailey, Executive Director of the Union County Health Care Foundation, said the Foundation’s participation was the result of a request by Gilliam.
“Doug Gilliam approached me and asked if the Health Care Foundation could help with this drive,” Bailey said. “Anytime the Health Care Foundation can be of assistance we’re certainly willing to do so. The scenes of devastation throughout our state are overwhelming and this drive is just another way for the citizens of Union County to help.”
Jeremy Robinson is a volunteer with Here To Help and said that he got involved because of his desire to help those in need.
“I saw the devastation on television and I felt that I could and wanted to lend a hand,” Robinson said.
Kevin Lancaster is also assisting in the effort, providing information over the phone. He said he’d discussed with Gilliam about launching a local relief effort similar to ones that have been done in the past by the Union County Sheriff’s Office.
“I said look, we’re fortunate here in Union,” Lancaster said. “We’ve had two hurricanes in five years and all we’ve got is some rain. There was that terrible accident on 18, but we have not had the devastation of people losing their homes and becoming refugees. So I told him he didn’t just represent Union County now, he represents the state including the part of the state that was hit by the hurricane.”
Gilliam said the Here To Help effort came about because organizers understood that District 42 including Union County was spared the ravages of the hurricane and is therefore able to help those who weren’t.
“If this happened in District 42, I would want someone to help us,” Gilliam said. “I would want someone to step up like we are for people who are suffering because of the storm. We were blessed because the storm missed us and because of that we are able to help those in need, we are able to help our brothers and sisters in South Carolina.”
For more information about the Here To Help Hurricane Relief effort contact the following:
• Doug Gilliam — 864-426-0785
• Greta Bailey — 864-441-3363
• Jeremy Robinson — 864-762-0107
• Kevin Lancaster — 864-426-3500
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090.