Atlanta-based nonprofit sending medical supplies to wildfire victims in Maui
Donated items are collected from all over Georgia and neighboring states.
TUCKER, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Some much-needed medical supplies are on the way to Maui to help victims in the aftermath of the deadly wildfires.
Metro Atlanta nonprofit Friends of Disabled Adults and Children (FODAC) in Tucker is spearheading the effort. FODAC works with agencies like FEMA to send medical supplies into disaster zones in the U.S. and even around the world.
“Every day we’re collecting gently used medical equipment that’s left behind or people simply don’t need it anymore because they passed away,” said Chris Brand, FODAC, president.
Donated items are collected from all over Georgia and neighboring states. The equipment is then sorted, cataloged, and stored at FODAC’s facility on Lewis Road in Tucker.
“We’re right behind housing, water, food,” said Brand.
115 people lost their lives when the fires ripped across Maui in early August. More than 2,200 homes and buildings were destroyed. The people who managed to escape fled with just their clothes on their backs. They were forced to leave behind their homes and keepsakes, but also lifesaving medical devices like wheelchairs, walkers, and CPAP machines.
“These folks are just in tears that this barrier is gone. Taking care of their loved ones or themselves. To be independent. To go services. To even get disaster relief services you have to have some level of mobility to be pushed there or to get there. So, we know how life-changing it is every day for people we serve and even much more in a crisis like this,” said Brand.
Travis Stone, FODAC’s disaster relief coordinator, is tasked with making sure the nonprofit is always fully stocked with critical items for whatever type of disaster.
“I’m making sure that we definitely have mobility aid prepared given that there’s going to be a lot of water damage, given that there’s going to be a lot of wind damage,” said Stone. “You can expect a lot of homes, mobile or otherwise, being just completely toppled or destroyed.”
“It’s been absolutely incredible. I’ve been able to get back to my community and to the greater United States, and even to the world in a far better way than I ever thought I would,” said Stone.
FODAC operates a thrift store at its Tucker location. Members of the community can donate items. They can also purchase items with proceeds from that store helping FODAC with its missions of giving.
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