Businesses step up to help evacuees, shelters

Wednesday, September 4, 2019
News 12 at 5

CSRA businesses rally to help evacuees stay comfortable and fed in their shelters. (Source: WRDW/WAGT)

AUGUSTA, GA (WRDW/WAGT) -- In the midst of Hurricane Dorian, it's times like these when you can really see just how much the CSRA steps up to help those in need.

Individuals, local businesses, and even large corporations have donated their time and resources to help the evacuees in several shelters throughout the area.

Stan Shepherd is the regional director for AT&T. When the Red Cross asked him to help them with cell phones and charging stations, he sprang into action.

"We all panic when our phones start to die. Well, imagine that being amped up a good bit if you were an evacuee. You need to get in touch with your family or your family is trying to get in touch with you," said Shepherd.

He and other AT&T employees set up several charging stations in the shelters for evacuees to charge their devices, and donated Android cell phones with prepaid service to each of the shelters to assist the Red Cross with easier communication.

"A huge need with evacuees are charging stations. There's only a limited number of electrical outlets in these evacuations," said Shepherd.

He's not the only one. When Chealsea Jackson of PDQ Martinez heard that people were in need, she knew she couldn't just sit around and watch. She took food from her restaurant to make sure the volunteers were being fed.

Brad Usry is the owner of Fat Man's Mill Cafe. He received a call from the Red Cross asking for 400 bagged lunches to feed the evacuees. He completed the task in two hours.

"We have a lot of resources, thank goodness. We're privileged to have a lot of folks here and we put everybody in gear to work on the boxed lunches...and we had to do a little shopping too," he said.

He hopes other Augusta businesses will follow his lead - and the lead of AT&T and PDQ.

"Giving always feels better than getting," said Shepherd.

If you have a business in the CSRA, you can contact your local Red Cross chapter to see how you can help. If you want to donate items, please take them to 2163 Central Avenue from 9 a.m. - 7 p.m. Below is a list of the items they are requesting, in order of need:

Full-sized bath towels
New, unused pillows
Adult disposable wipes
Insulin syringes
Adult diapers
Disposable bed pads
Diapers and pull-ups
Baby wipes

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