Woman raises thousands for Irma supplies
More than 50 bottles of bleach, gloves, masks, and cases of garbage bags, 32 garbage cans, 10 tarps, shovels, extension cords, six fans, five chainsaws and wheelbarrows, four mailboxes, two machetes, one bar of chocolate (yes, this says chocolate), and the list goes on…
More than 50 people received goods from a media campaign started by 2003 Marathon High School graduate Danielle Frost to help those affected by Hurricane Irma in the Keys.
“The first donation came in minutes,” Frost said, after driving 30 miles from Marathon to get cell service in the Upper Keys on Sept. 13. Her quick phone call was to let her friends in Tampa know to start a You Caring page for rebuilding the Keys, a fee-free Go Fund Me-like account. “One lady sent $1,000 and said ‘Colorado Cares, God Bless.’” And, more donations started pouring in.
She started by relaying information to friends and family about the well-being of their homes, and that’s when she realized there was going to be a dire need for help. As an owner of a condo on Sombrero, she held off checking the inside of her house thinking it was OK, while sleeping on a hammock on the porch of her dad’s Marathon house. “I thought he had bigger issues going on at his house,” she said.
Frost filmed her entrance into her condo a few days later in disbelief that the surge had broken out her sliding glass doors with the shutters still attached. The mess waited, while she spent the majority of her time at Marathon Lumber and The Home Depot, buying everything from storage bins to air mattresses and delivering them to people from Islamorada to Cudjoe Key who replied to her public Facebook posts.
Teri Childress, who works at Bayshore Clothing, and whose husband works at Marathon High School, needed new trash cans. “We found ours beat up and broken down the street,” she said of her 75th Street Oceanside house that took on water.
Frost passed yard clearing items off to Neil Cataldo to help him clear his neighbors’ yards, cleaning products to Christina Alo, and various other items to scores more. She was even able to help get two donated generators and air conditioning units to two families who were still without power.
One odd request came through, for “chocolate.” Frost texted back to verify. “If they really needed chocolate, I was going to make sure they got it. But it turns out talk-to-text didn’t recognize ‘chalk line,’” she said, laughing.
Mostly, people, even strangers, just posted “Do you have…” and her reply was simply, “address?” and it would show up. While in line on one of her 20-something trips to Marathon Lumber or The Home Depot, “If someone told me they were getting something to go help someone else, I just picked up their tabs, too.”
“The real recognition is to all the people who donated their hard-earned money so that I could help others – to families they didn’t even know.” — Danielle Frost