Local volunteers hope to make hurricane victims’ lives a little easier

CORTLAND, Ohio (WYTV) – Now that the massive storm known as Hurricane Irma has passed through Florida, there’s a lot of clean-up to be done.

And people here in the Mahoning Valley are eager to lend a helping hand.

“We’re in the business to do this kind of work. We’re in the business to help people,” said Kevin Wyndham, managing partner of ServiceMaster.


At their warehouse in Howland, ServiceMaster by Lewis Construction employees are packing up their trucks with drying equipment. On Tuesday, 14 of those employees will begin their journey to Florida — a trip that includes both physically- and emotionally-draining work.

Dale Sullivan, general manager of ServiceMaster, said it’s all in an effort to help Floridians get their homes back in order.

“They’ve lost pictures. They’ve lost things that their kids have made in school, and it’s gone, and it’s gone forever,” he said.

Meanwhile, a 53-foot trailer sits at Mosquito Lake Marina, waiting to be filled with things like water, bleach and canned food. All of the collected items will be delivered to the Southwest Ranches Fire Department by Fort Lauderdale, hoping to bring a little sunshine back to the Sunshine State.

“You still got to feel sorry for the people, I mean, that’s their home and you know. We gotta help them out, no matter what,” said Joe Sofchek.

If you’d like to bring some items to Mosquito Lake for the victims of Hurricane Irma, people will be collecting donations from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day this week. The fire department says they’re looking for the following items:

  • Water
  • Bleach
  • Canned food (no meats of any type)
  • Paper products
  • Boxes
  • Rubber gloves and face masks

They’re also looking for volunteers to help load the truck. The trailer is parked at the marina inside of Mosquito Lake State Park, located at 1439 Wilson Sharpsville Rd. in Cortland.

Local volunteers with the American Red Cross are also working down in Texas and Florida. To assist in their disaster relief efforts, you can donate to the Red Cross.