DENMARK -- Phil Sandifer and Sons Farms, a large family-owned agricultural operation since 1966 located near Denmark, is pitching in to provide relief to victims of Hurricane Harvey in Texas.
The Sandifers sent a truckload of essential supplies they collected to Houston on Tuesday and plan to send another truckload soon.
“We gathered supplies back in 2005 when Katrina was so bad. We sent four truckloads to Louisiana,” said Scottie Sandifer, one of the sons involved in the farming operation.
“We decided Harvey was so bad that we decided to get this cranked back up,” he said.
Sandifer estimated they will gather 60,000 pounds of various goods and cleaning supplies for the victims of Hurricane Harvey.
The Sandifers are asking residents, businesses, churches and agencies in the surrounding of communities to help by donating relief supplies to their effort. They, along with their farm employees, were busy loading supplies into a 53-foot tractor trailer on Tuesday.
Sherry Williams, one of the employees helping with the loading process Tuesday, said more than 80 palettes of donated goods had been collected thus far.
“We are very proud of the community and everybody’s contributions. We have had a very great turnout,” Williams said.
“The community is bringing the stuff out to our packing facility," Sandifer said. "We have donated the cardboard produce bins and the pallets. Robinson Fresh (a freight company) is donating the freight cost.”
The focus is on collecting water and non-perishable foods to nourish and hydrate the victims, along with tents for shelter, he said. Other essentials being sought are cleaning supplies, diapers, baby wipes, baby formula, hand sanitizer, toiletries, blankets/pillows, towels, underwear, baby playpens, charcoal, sleeping bags and general survival supplies.
“They did not want clothes the first time. The clothes are going on the second truck," Williams said. "They were more in need of water and baby diapers.”
The hurricane victims will need clothing later, she said.
James “Katt” Williams, who said he has operated a forklift for more than 30 years, was also helping with the effort at Phil Sandifer & Sons Farms.
“I think this is a real good idea,” he said.
Also taking part was Ronnie Jackson, who was stacking pallets of supplies with a forklift Tuesday morning.
“I really feel like this is a blessing for everyone. I hope everyone can get a piece of the cake,” Jackson said.
Sandifer said area churches donating relief supplies included Healing Springs Baptist Church, Ghents Branch Baptist Church, Denmark First Baptist Church and Blackville First Baptist Church.
Grocery stores have also donated supplies, including Fogle’s Piggly Wiggly in Denmark, he noted.
“Ray 'Bubba' Coker, the manager at the Fogle’s Piggly Wiggly in Denmark, has been good at looking into what we need and making sure we get it," Sandifer said.
“I want to thank the community and organizations for their support in this. Everyone seems to be stepping up and doing what they can to help,” he added.
Those wishing to donate Hurricane Harvey relief supplies are asked to drop them off at Phil Sandifer & Sons Farms, 1583 Mt. Zion Road, Blackville. The Sandifers can be reached at their office at 803-284-5111, 803-793-7906, or 803-383-1226.