Tuesday, late afternoon, I received a phone call from a woman named Melissa Elmore who works for a company in Manning called Mid State Tooling. She kindly asked if my husband's business would be interested in donating toward Texas relief. Once we established a few things, I told her that we would be able to put a few donations together for them. She told me that her boss had it in his heart to pack a truck and head toward the devastation and give to those in need. I felt the same way but had no way of knowing exactly what to do or how to give. We made plans for her to pick up our donations at the end of the business day [Aug. 31]. In my mind, our staffing would gather a few items including blankets, clothing and non-perishables, and we would be happy with our collection. I had no idea that waiting in the wings were so many Sumter folks who felt the same way as I and were ready to give freely from their hearts but had no outlet to do so.
[Aug. 30], at 10:30 a.m., I made a short Facebook post about us, Hudson Veterinary Hospital, collecting donations for Texas. In a few short minutes, I had a huge response. Friends shared the post. Hundreds of people saw it, replied and responded. We began collecting in our lobby area. That stack became so large that we began filling one of our exam rooms. That room filled! We starting using another exam room and filled it! And the stack overflowed into the lobby area once more! People from Sumter poured into our doors giving food, clothing, pet care items, blankets and toiletries. It was amazing. I, as well as the staff, was in awe at the huge response and love that flowed from Sumter! I had to call Mid State Tooling to let them know that they needed to bring a bigger truck. It was a great call to "have" to make! Mid State Tooling came to collect. We filled two trucks and a van! To say that Sumter stepped up would be an understatement. A quote from Helen Keller came to mind as we witnessed the outpouring of human kindness, "Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much."