Hometown calling: Atkinson organizes volunteers to help Bainbridge

Published 2:13 am Tuesday, October 16, 2018

A team a local volunteers spent most of their weekend delivering supplies and moving trees and limbs displaced in Bainbridge, Ga., by Hurricane Michael.

A group organized at First United Methodist Church left Andalusia about daylight Saturday with two tractors and a bunch of chainsaws headed to Bainbridge, Ga., hometown of Andalusia’s Janet Atkinson. The group included Carol Mullis, Harold Burnham, John Roach, Terry Pickard, Jody Lassiter, Jason Thrower, Travis and Jessica Golden, Samantha and Jamie Meredith and Toby and Janet Atkinson.

The Atkinsons started putting the trip together on Friday after Mrs. Atkinson heard repeatedly from friends at home how badly the city – which sits on Hwy. 84 and is similar to Andalusia – was damaged.

“Supplies just keep appearing at my house,” Mrs. Atkinson said. “It was heart warming to see what people would bring over a 12-hour period.”

Mrs. Atkinson packed bread, peanut butter, tuna and other non-perishables.

“So many people donated water, food, supplies,” she said. “We gave some out and left the rest with a friend that is passing it out.”

“The women’s shelter came yesterday and cried as they were loading up their van,” she said Monday. “They are full to capacity with no power! Charcoal was like gold!!”

Even several days after the storm, there were residents who could not get out of their driveways.

“We had Janet as our lead person, and she had the places for us to go,” Carol Mullis said. “You need a tractor with an operator, and two or three chainsaws to work with the tractor, and a couple of people to drag limbs.”

Mullis said those they helped were very appreciative.

The Goldens and Merediths have a relative who works with the Atkinsons and just wanted to go and help.

“Travis owns Travis ATV and works on all kinds of equipment,” Mrs. Atkinson said. “They were too sweet to go and haul their tractor. It was perfect for clearing driving ways and moving trees.”

Power has begun to be restored in Bainbridge, but the town wasn’t expected to be completely up until 8:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Some of the group is headed to Lynn Haven, Fla., with chainsaws on Tuesday, and expected to be joined by volunteers from Southside Baptist. Monday, Mullis was loading $500 in supplies at Walmart to deliver.