Midlands residents are aiming to help flood victims by donating more than just food and water. Officials are seeking cleaning supplies, baby wipes, and diapers.

Volunteers on Tuesday stepped up to support victims of Hurricane Florence, packing boxes at a local food bank and prepping to pack a bus of supplies to head to flooding victims in the Carolinas.

“These people are losing their personal lives and possessions so it’s really important to try and give them the basic necessities they need to get them back on track,” said Lauren Schwartz, communications director of Columbia Relief, a partnership among local government, businesses and non-profit organizations to support those affected by natural disasters.

Harvest Hope, a non-profit in South Carolina, partnered with Columbia Relief as one of the main donation locations. Harvest Hope receives support from large companies, like Amazon and Nestle, to provide supplies to assist the community in a time of need. Harvest Hope was prepared a week before the hurricane arrived in the Carolinas and were ready to ship supplies, said Shari Waters, communications director of Harvest Hope.

Columbia Relief will host an event Saturday called Pack a Bus during Soda City Market, a vendor-based market on Main Street. One of Columbia Relief’s biggest partners, The Comet, will be providing buses for the event. Volunteers will be packing each bus with the donations provided from each partner such as Harvest Hope and Red Cross.

The Comet buses will be unloading these donations to people in South Carolina’s Pee Dee region and North Carolina hurt by the storm.

Those interested in giving donations may visit the Columbia Relief website, https://columbiarelief.wixsite.com/home, for a list of drop-off sites. Soda City Market will be hosting their event on Saturday starting at 9 a.m. on Main Street.

Photos by Quintara Hatten

Harvest Hope Communications Director Shari Waters checks disaster relief supply boxes that are being shipped to families in the Carolinas.

Columbia Relief Communications Director Lauren Schwartz has been a part of Columbia relief since the start of the partnership in 2015. Schwartz, a USC senior majoring in broadcast journalism, has been eager to reach out to partners regarding the Pack a Bus event this Saturday.

Harvest Hope, a food bank in South Carolina, collects donations at their warehouse on Shop Road. The non-profit is shipping supplies to communities ravaged by the floodwaters of Hurricane Florence.

Companies like Amazon and Nestle are huge contributors to Harvest Hope’s communities by donating supplies such as snacks and water to their warehouse when disaster strikes.