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Pine Belt dealerships pitch in to assist Sandy's victims

SOUTHEAST MISSISSIPPI — Ford dealerships in the Pine Belt area are sending relief supplies to help Staten Island communities damaged by Hurricane Sandy.

Eighty pallets full of canned goods, diapers, personal care items, blankets, batteries and bottled water, enough to fill a semi-truck trailer, is bound for Dana Ford Lincoln in Staten Island, N.Y. These relief supplies will be provided to the residents of the area while the dealership will serve as a distribution center.

The four participating dealers are Courtesy Ford (Hattiesburg), Pine Belt Ford (Purvis), Woolwine Ford (Collins) and Laurel Ford Lincoln (Laurel).

Jimmy Walker, president of Laurel Ford Lincoln, is coordinating the efforts of the Mississippi dealers. Walker saw news accounts of the disaster and the anguish of the residents of New York, and recalled the need during Hurricane Katrina and the difficulty getting relief supplies to those in the area. His first step was to go to the local Walmart and purchase 2,000 blankets and ship to Dana Ford because he anticipated cold weather would soon hit the Northeast. Following that, he reached out to local Ford dealers in Mississippi. The response was and continues to be overwhelming.

Christian Services is helping to coordinate the effort in Mississippi and Richland-based KLLM Transport Services is donating trucks, fuel and manpower to transport all of the donated items to the dealership in New York.

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