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It’s been almost two months since Hurricane Michael devastated the Panhandle. Our neighbors to the west have been nonstop with relief efforts. Another local initiative is underway, including help from a well-known NFL quarterback. A group of locals are cleaning up Hurricane Michael’s mess one load at a time. “We’ve discover that there a huge need for wash, dry and fold and especially for some of the hurricane victims that have been impacted to the degree they have,” said Jerry Baca, Klean Wash, Owner. At Klean Wash, they have partnered with Safe Water for Walton to launch a new initiative; giving away free laundry detergent. “People were lined out the doors here. And, one of the small things that we could do for them that meant really big impact on the environment was give out eco-friendly laundry detergent,” shared Kelly Layman, Safe Water for Walton, Board Member. “…which of course, is important because, we live on the beach we protect both the the bay as well as the beautiful Gulf of Mexico,” explained Baca.  Safe Water for Walton recently scored a large donation that will keep this program, along with others sustained past hurricane recovery. “We received more than $7,000 dollars worth of donations online plus a $10,000 dollar check from Drew Brees with the NFL Saints,” said Layman. The nonprofit is just a year old and has been around the same counties of the hurricane strike zone, which are also in the watershed where we get our water supply from: Jackson, Holmes, Washington, Bay, Walton, Okaloosa.  The group even got  solar showers to members of the military at Tyndall Air Force Base who were repairing their private homes without power, all while reporting for duty. “If we have safe detergent, then we have safe laundry that we wear and process and then, we have safe water. So, it all connects together,” Layman said. Even though safe water for Walton is only a year old, they’ve brought three national movement to the panhandle. Safe water for Walton member say they hope to expand to other laundromats throughout 6 county watershed. Safe Water for Walton has its first birthday party coming up later in the month.  Any members who join online by December 10 automatically have, half of their donation going to hurricane relief efforts.

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