I was watching our local ABC affiliate today and they put out the call for liquid baby formula. I had actually mentioned to Todd the other day that I couldn't believe I hadn't seen it on donation list requests yet -- because I bought two boxes with eight 6 oz. bottles for our "hurricane kit" (our son drinks 5-6 bottles a day) -- and they're $13.49 each at TRU and BRU, and $17.99 at Walgreens. In a hurricane, you could only really use the individual ready-to-feed bottles and cans with the lack of water to make the powdered formula, and the inability to refrigerate the larger quart sizes that we normally buy. So basically I spent $27 on what is less than a 3-day supply for him. And these people have been without power a week now! Some estimates have the outages lasting six weeks or more.
Just stop and look at some of these photographs of Hurricane Charley's aftermath for an instant. Now imagine yourself with a small mouth to feed, and an almost complete inability to do so. This storm missed our home by mere miles. I cannot even fathom what we would be going through if it hadn't...
I typed up this letter (since modified to remove all formula company references) and I've already sent it to Enfamil, Similac, Nestlé Good Start, and Bright Beginnings. Please feel free to borrow the text and contact local companies in your areas to pass the word along. If you have the time and want to help me out on my mission, you can also start contacting larger corporations with formula supplies on hand like grocery chains, Wal Mart, Target, Walgreens, etc. Please send me mail if you get a response!
Also of note: I have just registered this website with Strengthen the Good. Please do the same with your own sites if you haven't already.
UPDATE: Kat has just passed along this article from WWSB titled "People in areas hurt by Hurricane Charley search for baby formula..."
...Florida's director of Family Health Services says formula manufacturers donated nearly a half million four-ounce bottles to the recovery effort.
Annette Phelps says the state also received donations of formula from the US Department of Agriculture and grocery stores.
Phelps says Winn-Dixie has donated sterile water to prepare powered formula. She says donors are also sending plenty of baby food and cereal...
UPDATE 2: News Channel 8 (WFLA) / TBO has reported that formula donations are still needed in Hardee county, and are being taken at Charlotte County Sports Parks (former Texas Ranger Stadium) on Highway 776 in Port Charlotte.
UPDATE 3: From the official Charlotte County Emergency Management website...
The Charlotte County Sports Complex in Port Charlotte (formerly Ranger's Stadium) is the main distribution center for supplies being run the the Florida Jaycees. The complex is located on State Road 776, 4 ˝ miles west of US 41.
Donations of baby formula & diapers and women’s personal hygiene products are urgently needed to assist the residents of Charlotte County who have been displaced from their homes due to Hurricane Charley. Other items needed: camping supplies, cleaning supplies, batteries, am/fm radios, flashlights. The station will be accepting donations seven days a week from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Drop-off donation sites:
1. Red Cross (Rampart & Kings Hwy)
2. Salvation Army
UPDATE 4: I received the following reply from Abbott Laboratories (the makers of Similac).
ping this entry: