PANAMA CITY, FLA. (WMBB) — Businesses throughout Panama City are gathering supplies to send to people impacted by Hurricane Ida in Louisiana. House of Henry Irish Pub has filled six Comeback Coolers that it plans to send to Louisiana later this week.
“We’re filling the coolers up,” Sous chef Josh Polenz said. “Water, like wet wipes, hand sanitizer, sunscreen, bug spray. Anything you could possibly want when your powers out and you’re sitting in devastation from, you know, a natural disaster.”
The coolers also contain snacks, duct tape, toiletries, and other supplies. Five of the six coolers have been filled by the House of Henry, but they are open to donations from the community. Polenz was interested in the idea because he received a cooler when Hurricane Michael struck Panama City, he said.
“It’s a huge thing because I received one after Hurricane Michael and it brought tears to my eyes,” Polenz said. I was on a worksite doing demolition, and getting a cooler with some nice beer and some water in it, it was just life-changing.”
House of Henry is not the only business gathering donations for Louisiana. Operation Spay Bay is gathering supplies for animals.
“Any food-related items for animals, Maxine Cornette, the committee outreach organizer of Operation Spay Bay said. “Any food, any supplies for animals. Cleaning supplies for humans and water. That’s what we’re concentrating on.”
Cornette said she is planning to take two horse trailers and a van to Louisiana, filled with food and supplies. Once all of the supplies are emptied, Cornette plans to take any misplaced animals back to Panama City. Operation Spay Bay has more available room for displaced animals than areas affected by the storm, Cornette said.
But the trips would not be possible without donations from the community, Cornette said.
“Panama City is without a doubt one of the most giving communities ever, and I say that from the heart,” Cornette said. “Because they’ve done it for years. They’ve come out in droves, we have so much food. We have so much food to take it’s overwhelming.”