Local entrepreneur starts Texas relief fund and drive
COLUMBIA - A local entrepreneur is challenging the Columbia community to help him fill a 53-foot trailer with donations for people affected by Hurricane Harvey in Texas.
As a kid Jonathan Barfield lived in areas such as Beaumont, Texas, which was one area heavily impacted by the hurricane.
"I lived in the south for a large part of my life, and somehow I kept finding my way back to Columbia," Barfield said. "But I still have family in Texas and friends, and so this is something that is honestly really important to me."
Barfield moved to Columbia in 2000 and now works at Columbia Honda. Columbia Honda is one of the many area businesses that is serving as a donation drop off. Laser Transport LLC will also participate. It serves as the main location for donations, and it's also the company that is supplying the trailer for transport.
"My first thought was, okay I can fill up what I can in my car and drive it down there myself and then getting a U-Haul came to my mind too," Barfield said. "After talking to Laser Transport LLC, they offered to help in a big way, so I'm trying to make a difference in a big way."
He also started a relief fund and has raised about $800. Barfield said the money will go toward one of the most vital things people need.
"Hygiene products are obviously a super important thing, so we're trying to also raise as much money as we can so we can find a local store to buy from and send that stuff directly to Texas," Barfield said.
Barfield said he plans to accept donations until the trailer is full. The trailer will then make it's way to Texas to help with the recovery process.
Anyone interested in donating clothes, nonperishable foods, shoes and hygiene products can drop them off at Columbia Honda or Laser Transport LLC. Outside of the community, Lions Pride Lawn and Landscaping and Mid Missouri Homebuyer have helped too.