Local Couple Aims to Help Hurricane Ian Victims

Posted on October 5, 2022 by Guest Columnist


It has only been one week since Hurricane Ian wreaked havoc on Florida as a massive, borderline Category 5 hurricane. Already volunteers and organizations have come together to unite in an effort to help those affected.  

Anyone who has lived in Florida for any length of time has probably been effected by a hurricane in one way or another. 

In 2004, Mark and I had over three feet of water in our home in Fort Walton Beach.  We know firsthand what it is like to lose everything when a hurricane hits your area.  We had to pull out sheetrock, flooring, cabinets, everything in the house except the tub and toilets.  

Living through this has also made us empathetic to others going through the same situations.  When Hurricane Michael hit Panama City in 2018 we made approximately 40 trips over the course of 14 months to assist with clean up, take supplies and organize food distribution.  

Along with our home church, Cinco Baptist we hosted a Christmas Dinner and gift distribution in Panama City.  We went back in the spring for an Easter event and again in November of 2019 hosted a Thanksgiving Dinner.

In 2021 Mark went with Cinco Baptist to Houma, Louisiana after Hurricane Ida with their laundry trailer.  On that trip Mark and Mickey Hawkins said we need to organize a Christmas event again.  December 14th, 2021 a group of volunteers from Cinco Baptist and Defrance Antiques headed to Houma with an enormous amount of food and over 1000 Christmas gifts. 

We are currently planning a trip to the Fort Myers area on October 17th.  We would love to take the laundry trailer from Cinco Baptist along with cleaning supplies, personal hygiene items and non-perishable food. 

If you would like to help we will be collecting items at Defrance Antiques, 230 Eglin Parkway SE, Fort Walton Beach.  You can also donate financially to DeFrance Antiques or Cinco Baptist Church, 26 Yacht Club Drive NE, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548 

On checks please write in the memo line: Hurricane Ian Relief.  

100% of donations will go directly to buying supplies or food for the victims of Hurricane Ian.  All volunteers going on the trip will cover their own expenses for food and gas.  We will be sleeping in the trailers we are pulling and/or our vehicles. 

Supply Donations need to be dropped off at Defrance Antiques no later than Friday, October 14th in order to be packed in the trailers. 

Any questions please contact Stacie Hoard at Defrance Antiques 850-314-7500 or email: defranceantiques@gmail.com

Supplies needed: Water, Gatorade, protein drinks, non-perishable food items, paper towels, toilet paper, cleaning wipes, paper plates, napkins, plastic utensils, toiletries, feminine products, diapers, wipes, cat food, dog food, cleaning supplies. *****No clothing please.

Thank you,
Mark & Stacie Hoard, Owners of DeFrance Antiques and Flea Market