FARIBAULT, Minn. (KMSP) - Through his pick-up truck parts business located south of the Twin Cities metro, Bret Danneker typically makes a couple of trips a month to Houston. Given what he has seen and heard from his Texas suppliers in the devastating wake of Hurricane Harvey, Danneker knew he had to do something to help.
“A lot of them have lost their whole business,” he said. “You start over, but in the meantime, you have no tools. Everything is underwater.”
Danneker, who owns Pickup Parts Unlimited in Faribault, offered to make a run down to the gulf coast with his large open trailer carrying as many supplies as it could hold. He turned to social media to ask for donations, such as bottled water, from friends, family and customers.
His networking circle delivered big time.
Some buddies at Cornwell Tools stepped up, as did Mackenthun’s Fine Foods in Lonsdale.
“We tried to go quick and easy – canned vegetables, water, spaghetti sauce, instant oatmeal,” said John Vollertsen, manager of Makenthun’s Fine Foods in Lonsdale. “[It’s] an open trailer going to Houston so had to go non-perishable to get down there and help those people who don’t have the means to cook.”
Danneker quickly collected several pallets of absolute essentials. He says he’ll figure out where to drop the supplies once he gets down there, perhaps an emergency shelter or at the very least a distribution center that can get it into the hands of those who need it.
“It’s a long ways away. But, we are all Americans. We are all in it together. So we do what we can to help out,” said Matt Theis, one of the people who donated supplies.
Danneker departs for Houston on Thursday. He says he will continue making trips down south with his trailer as long as he is needed.