BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — Weeks after tornadoes devastated areas in multiple states, a local man is on a mission to help.
Bay County’s Ivan Ross said he felt compelled to help the victims of the Kentucky tornadoes earlier this month.
“I was talking to my wife about it and I was like, ‘We’ve gotta do something,'” Ross said. “It originally started with being just bringing toys to kids and everything, and we knew that there was going to be an outpour of other people bringing toys and Santa and everything else, so we decided to open it up to everything.”
Ross said his wife’s family went through the storm, giving them first-hand knowledge of the devastation.
He said some of the most requested items include bottled water, feminine hygiene products, non-perishable food and diapers.
Ross said kerosene heaters are also requested since Kentucky is chilly this time of year.
He hopes to pack up a semi-truck full of items to send to western Kentucky.
“It doesn’t matter if I’ve got a quarter of truck or if I’ve got a full truck or if I’ve got ten trucks, everything’s gonna go up there Sunday morning,” Ross said. “Dawson Springs was where the largest amount of impact was and where the tornado was the largest, including Bremen, so we’re gonna be going up there and taking care of and trying to help them as much as we can.”
Chris Bullock is another tornado victim in Kentucky. She and her family also survived the storm.
News 13 spoke with her just days after her house was destroyed.
“I didn’t think we were gonna make it, to be honest… Especially when the wall fell on my son and I,” Bullock said. “I thought that was it.”
While Bullock and Ross have never met, the items he is collecting will coincidentally go to her town of Dawson Springs.
Ross said many people helped Bay County after Hurricane Michael, and he feels compelled to pay it forward.
“We lived through it with Hurricane Michael, so whenever we were in need of help, people came with open arms,” Ross said. “I’ve got a big heart and I know a lot of people do around here, so what better way than to give back from people helping us, what better way to help other people, especially around Christmas.”
If you would like to donate items to the tornado relief drive, Ross will be at the Lynn Haven Walmart on Saturday starting at 8 a.m. until dark.