FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Two local organizations are collecting supplies to be delivered firsthand to victims of Hurricane Ida.
Kent Prosser, the president of the State Pipe Trade Association and business manager of the Plumbers & Steamfitters Local 166, emailed his team of workers with a goal to raise $10,000 for relief efforts.
“Without a doubt, everybody said yes,” Prosser said.
This included the president and CEO of Wayne Pipe & Supply, Tony Tranquill, who not only pitched in himself but challenged his workers to do the same. As a result, the business is matching Local 166 Union donations dollar for dollar.
Prosser sent his original email to over 120 workers, an amount which Tranquill doubled with his contacts.
“It went from two organizations trying to do something good to the whole community of Fort Wayne pouring in support,” said Prosser.
Through a partnership with Do-It-Best, Wayne Pipe & Supply is able to buy discounted goods, all of which are funded by donations going straight to hurricane victims.
The start of the school year has heightened the sense of urgency for relief efforts, as Prosser said schools in the New Orleans area have a goal of opening back up by the week following September 18, just two weeks away.
The goal is to fill up an entire semi-truck with materials. So far, the organizations have collected enough money for 12 generators, box fans, extension cords, air conditioners, motor oil, gas cans, two cycle oil, bar chain oil, tarps, and more than 20 first aid kits.
A group will drive down to Louisiana with the goods Tuesday morning at 10 a.m. to hand-deliver supplies to the Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 60 in Metairie, Louisiana, just 15 minutes outside of New Orleans, where everything will then be distributed.
When the business manager of the Local 60 was approached about being given relief supplies, Prosser said he broke down into tears because of how grateful he was.
“We take care of our own,” Prosser said in response.
Louisiana locals put together a wish list of needed supplies. The full list of items includes: generators, extension cords, gas cans (5 gallon for generators and 1 gallon for chainsaws), quarts of 10W-30 motor oil, 2 stroke oil, chainsaw bar oil, 110 volt AC window units, box fans, tarps, chainsaws (with 2 stroke oil and bar oil) Gatorade, nonperishable food items (MRE type foods), diapers and formula, small ice chest or plastic water coolers (that will hold a few bags of ice), medical supplies (bandages, wound cleaning, wound care, pain relief), hygiene products, large trash bags, ropes, hammers, roofing nails, buckets, utility knives, brooms, shovels, small pry bars/crowbars, rags, bleach/cleaning products, work gloves, hand sanitizer, and face masks.
The doors of the Local 166 will be open starting 6 a.m. Tuesday to collect supplies from anyone in the community willing to donate. For those who wish to give items or monetary donations, the building is off of Lima Road at 2930 W Ludwig Rd.