SEBRING — Florida Masonic Lodge 249 in Sebring (District 21) is appealing to the general public to donate items still desperately needed by Florida Panhandle residents to assist them in rebuilding their homes and lives.

Mary Walton, wife of Duane Walton, a Masonic member in the Sebring Lodge, is coordinating the effort with the Worshipful Master Bermon Pritt. There are 15 lodges in the 21st District that will organize their area collection efforts beginning this week through Nov. 21. The items will then be consolidated, sorted and transferred to the Panhandle where Masonic District 5 lodges will distribute them to those in need.

Tens of thousands of homes and scores of businesses, along with public safety buildings and transportation means have been destroyed. Available area housing is scarce and many residents need supplies to help them survive until their homes and lives can be rebuilt. Most power and water services have been restored to habitable areas.

Items needed at this time, according to sources in the affected area, are: baby diapers, baby wipes, baby formula, baby food, personal hygiene items, soap, body wash, shampoo, deodorant, razors, feminine hygiene products, tooth brushes, tooth paste, mouthwash, toilet paper, hand sanitizers, bug spray, sunscreen, disinfectant wipes, non-perishable foods, blankets, sleeping bags, pillow, pillow cases, towels, socks, rain ponchos, batteries, trash bags, small charcoal grills, flashlights, paper plates, utensils, gloves, coolers, and gas cans.

These are some of the most needed items. Any of these or others that you think would be an everyday need is greatly appreciated.

Please do not donate clothing or water.

Alan Jay Toyota of Sebring has generously made available a garage bay for items collected locally by the Sebring lodge and to be used as the sorting, packaging and shipping center for all items collected in the district. Alan Jay Toyota is at 400 U.S. 27 North. People wanting to donate from the Sebring area are asked to do so at this location between the hours of 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Friday, Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. An employee will direct you to the bay where the items can be dropped off.

If you would like to make cash donations, please text Mary Walton at 207-551-8110 or email her at

In this season of thanks giving, your efforts to donate a little of something you can do without, to help those who have lost everything, is greatly appreciated.


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