Middletown business owner organizes hurricane relief effort

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Middletown business owner organizes hurricane relief effort

A Butler County businessman is behind an effort that is sending a tractor trailer full of supplies to Texas to help out with hurricane relief.

Dave Duncan, co-owner JD Dispatch Inc. in Middletown, said he had an epiphany Aug. 28 shortly after Hurricane Harvey ripped into the Houston area.

“The Lord woke me up at 4 o’clock in the morning and told me to go to Texas,” Duncan said. “My wife said, ‘Where are you goin’?’ and I said, ‘I’m goin’ to work. I’ve got to get a truck.’”

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David Duncan, right, with JD Dispatch in Middletown, helps Joey Brown, 17, stack water that will be sent to Texas to help with Hurricane Harvey relief Thursday, Sept. 7 in Middletown. A semi truck filled with bottled water and supplies is being sent to a church in Humble, Texas to help give back to those in need after hurricane Harvey in Texas. Multiple businesses and individuals have donated toiletries, cleaning supplies, diapers, dog food and more to send. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF Staff Writer

Duncan said he called the company he dispatches for, Pennsylvania-based flatbed carrier Beemac Trucking, and spoke with its president, Loren Dworakowski.

“I told him I need a truck and trailer to go to Texas,” Duncan said. “He’s a pretty religious man and he told me, ‘I’ll call you back in an hour’ and in an hour he had a van loaded up and guaranteed us (a truck) … and we started putting the word out.”

Beemac Trucking also filled and sent three trucks of its own, he said.

Duncan said he put the word out via social media to some of his customers and the effort immediately started amassing supplies from businesses and individuals from all over Butler County and as far away as Cincinnati. That included bottled water, toiletries, cleaning supplies, diapers, dog food, buckets, bug spray, health care items and other supplies.

Foundation Community Church in Trenton, the church Duncan attends, also collected supplies to fill his truck.

“It was just heartwarming,” Duncan said. “It really boggles your mind in today’s age of people bickering back and forth, man, everybody’s come together. That’s what’s touching.”

The 55-foot tractor trailer, which was partially loaded Thursday with help from Edgewood High School football team, is scheduled to head out this morning to Grace Church in Humble, Texas to help give back to those in need after Hurricane Harvey decimated much of the Houston area.

Although he said JD Dispatch must get back to business after shipping out supplies to Texas, making an effort to help the expected victims of Hurricane Irma is something that isn’t entirely off his radar.

“I have another job we have to get all these trucks to … but you never say never,” he said.

Kristi Metsch, who had worked with an underground network of individuals who provide relief during natural disasters, said she reached out to contacts in the area to collaborate with collecting and delivery of goods to people in need.

“After Hurricane Harvey, a personal friend introduced me to Dave … who offered to take any goods we were able to collect to the people of Texas,” Metsch said. “Dave is one of the most kind and gentle souls I have ever met. Middletown is truly blessed to have such a dedicated superhero among its citizens.”

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