Wiregrass donates to Hurricane Michael relief

Wiregrass Ranch delivered supplies to those impacted by Hurricane Michael.


Barbara Pleus

Wiregrass Ranch teachers Marilyn Davis and Stephanie Kincaid dropping off donations to Bay District Schools.

Hurricane Michael left it’s mark on the Florida Panhandle in October, and many families are still trying to recover. Marilyn Davis, a teacher at Wiregrass Ranch, led a drive to help those still suffering in the Bay County School District. The drive requested items such as: gift cards for food, pajamas, gloves, hats, sweatshirts, and socks.

On January 1st, Davis along with fellow teachers, Barbara Pleus and Stephanie Kinciad, set out on a road trip to deliver the eight large plastic bins of items donated by Wiregrass and the First Baptist Church of Lutz to the Bay County students.

This road trip took place three months after the Hurricane hit, yet the destruction was still visible everywhere.

Steps that lead to nowhere.

“While I have lived through many hurricanes and even seen pictures of the devastation from this one, nothing really prepared us for what we saw. Everything was destroyed,” Davis explained. “Debris and trash piled along the sides of the roads consisting of the total contents of most homes and trash strewn everywhere.”

The teachers spoke to some of the victims of the Hurricane while there, and their stories were horrific.

“One couple stayed in their home throughout the storm, but their home literally blew away from around them.  They jumped in their car and remained there until it was over,” Davis said. “The woman did not speak a word for two months because she was so traumatized.”

The supplies were delivered to the school district donations coordinator at Cedar Grove Elementary School in Panama City, Florida.

“The administrators we met with at the elementary school were so appreciative,” Kincaid explained. “There were more than just a few tears.”

The area hit by the storm will need help for years to come as they continue to rebuild their community, but the donations from Wiregrass Ranch will help them in the process.

“I was honored to be a part of delivering the supplies to the hurricane victims,” Pleus said. “It was very difficult to see the devastation in person and not wanting to leave because I wanted to do more.”