Two local groups are planning to haul donations from Carter County to the areas affected by Hurricane Harvey.
All eight Pettit Machinery locations and Landmark Bank in Ardmore are serving as drop-off stations for donations. Next week, Dot Foods will haul everything from Ardmore to Houston. In a separate effort, Candlewood Suites and Apollo Hospitality are also collecting donations for the Rockport area.
Pettit Machinery partner and owner Clint Tillison said the company initially started by asking for nonperishable donations on Facebook, and the effort snowballed.
“People just came out of the woodwork bringing stuff, and other businesses have joined in,” Tillison said.
Landmark Bank president Brent Harness saw the post and jumped in, offering the bank as a drop-off point and contacting Rob Hendry, the manager of the Ardmore Dot Foods Distribution Center, who supplied a 52-foot truck for the trip.   
The cutoff date to donate to Pettit or Landmark Bank is Wednesday for outlying locations and Thursday for the Ardmore location. Tillison said they’re working with the United Way of Greater Houston to find a drop-off point. Harness said clothing donations will not be accepted.
Meanwhile, Apollo Hospitality is extending their hospitality to the Rockford area. They began collecting supplies for the family of Kelsey DeLeon, a front desk agent at Candlewood Suites in Ardmore.
“We decided as a team to do something for her that would directly impact her family,” Brandi Edmonds, director of sales for Apollo Hospitality said. “It was just a team effort within the group of employees.”
Her mother, Lisa Johnson, used to be the human resources director of the Community Children’s Shelter in Ardmore. She moved to Rockport last year, where Kelsey’s uncle, aunt and grandmother also live.
Since then, their gesture has blossomed into a community effort. Apollo Hospitality expanded their efforts to collecting donations for the whole city of Rockport and the surrounding area using the hashtag #ardmore2rockport.
Since then, they’ve met with the head of Apollo Hospitality and have expanded their efforts to collecting donations for the whole city. People can drop items off at Apollo Hospitality on Rockford Road or inside the banquet area at the Candlewood Suites in Ardmore. DeLeon’s mother sent a list of suggested items including cleaning supplies, nonperishable items and toiletries, flashlights, socks and undergarments.
“She went on to explain to us that they don’t want clothes, they don’t want towels and sheets and things like that because they literally have nowhere to put them,” Edmonds said “They’re useless.”
Apollo Hospitality also plans to work with a local chapter of United Way to get their supplies to Rockport.
“There’s a lot of aid going to Houston and obviously it’s needed, but there’s not as much help going to the small communities,” Edmonds said. “And with the personal connection we have, it just made more sense for us.”