In response to the devastation left by Hurricane Ian, United Motorcoach Association (UMA) Director Clarence Cox III is leading a disaster relief convoy to bring needed supplies to communities in southern Florida decimated by the natural disaster.
Cox is the owner of the multi-generational Georgia Coach Lines and the Past President of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE). NOBLE is part of the Convoy of Care partnership that began in 2016 to bring help to residents of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in the wake of historic flooding.
Cox was part of a recent press conference at First Baptist Church of Woodstock to launch a Convoy of Care to collect supplies for the Florida victims hit hardest by the storm.
The ABC Affiliate WSB-TV is partnering with the nonprofit Caring for Others and collected $25,000 in donations, packing two tractor-trailers to head to the Fort Myers area. Several trucks left this weekend for Florida. The goal was to fill up the trucks with enough supplies to help between 2,000 and 3,000 people. Supplies will be deployed to South Carolina, as well.
Supporting hurricane victims
The Convoy of Care has gathered personal hygiene items, socks and underwear, diapers, wipes, infant formula and cleaning supplies. Organizers are asking for financial donations online.
Along with NOBLE, the partnering organizations included the Georgia Motor Trucking Association (GMTA), law enforcement organizations, Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police (GACP), Georgia Coach Lines, Stewart Miller Simmons Trial Attorneys and others that have pledged their networks to recruit volunteers to deliver and distribute donations.
Ian is the deadliest storm to pound Florida since 1935, with more than 100 deaths, according to authorities. The Convoy of Care is concentrating its efforts on the Lee County and Fort Pierce areas, where many people have lost everything.
“We’ve raised about $30,000 in cash that we’re going to utilize with purchasing some of the things they need, such as generators, tarps and tents. We have already sent two trucks that had nonperishable food items, as well as baby diapers and new clothing,” Cox said.
Focus on impoverished areas
Working with Home Depot, the group has been able to purchase shovels and tarps at wholesale prices. “We’ve had to get some box trucks down there to kind of just drive around in the neighborhoods and distribute the stuff,” Cox said.
Adding to the challenges of responding to the need for help are concerns about alligators and snakes lurking in flooded areas, he added.
The focus is on helping those most impoverished areas who have been devastated by the hurricane.
“We try to get to those neighborhoods because those neighborhoods don’t have any resources and are often forgotten about,” Cox said.
Monetary donations are being collected to purchase items in bulk to send to Florida. Donations can be made by clicking here.