Over the past few months our community has come together in a time of real need and has continued with their outpouring of love, not only once, but three times since September.

When Hurricane Harvey wreaked havoc on the Texas coast, followed by Hurricane Irma in South Florida, Mission Love Seeds responded to the need by sending seven volunteers with trucks and trailers filled with water, food, and other relief supplies to Beaumont, Texas, where Pastor Bob Boone relocated after leaving the First Baptist Church in Destin.

Shortly after the team returned from Texas, Hurricane Irma hit. After learning about one of the hardest hit areas in Florida that lost everything, Mission Love Seeds and Generous Heart Ministry teamed up to help families in need. The two organizations loaded a semi-tractor trailer filled with school supplies, non-perishable food, backpacks, and hygiene products and headed south on Oct. 7. After seeing firsthand the living conditions of the children and their families, a decision was made to return to Immokalee and take Christmas joy to children and to give kids something to smile about on Christmas Day.

Three rental trucks, a large RV and three vehicles left Destin Dec. 18 and headed to South Florida. One truck was loaded with hundreds of used bicycles donated from St. Andrews Bike Shop Blue Door Ministries. Another was loaded with more than 1,000 new toys, new bikes, and 750 decorative bags of candy. Another truck was loaded with toys, blankets, towels, sheets and other household items for the church. The RV was loaded with Santa, Ms. Claus and elves ready to make for a fun Christmas party.

The next day, 750 children attended the party at Pinecrest Elementary School. Big smiles and bright eyes could be seen as they jumped onto their new bicycles, chose a favorite toy and received a bag of candy from one of Santa's elves, then waited in line to get a picture taken with Santa.

Both Mission Love Seeds and Generous Heart Ministry have plans to continue the relief efforts for months and years to come, with the help and generosity of our local businesses and supporters.

We are so grateful for the generosity of this community. On behalf of both organizations, we would like to thank the hundreds of business, churches, organizations, supporters and dedicated volunteers who helped to make the relief efforts and Christmas party for God’s children possible.

Thank you To The Destin Log and Pam Griffin, Destin Fire Control District's fire fighters on Airport Road, Another Broken Egg, Two Men and A Truck, Krispy Kreme, Air Force Enlisted Village, Old Navy, Papa John’s Pizza, Osaka Japanese Hibachi Steakhouse and Sushi Bar, RealJoy Properties, Fresh Market, Little Caesars Pizza, Walmart Destin, Destin Target, Mary Ann Roberts Bible Study Group, Destin Middle School/Merri Willis, The Children’s Place, Sherry Cox’s Bible Study Class, Kelly Plantation Bible Study, Kelly Plantation Friends, Destin United Methodist Women, Destin United Methodist, Village Baptist Church, Destiny Worship Center, St. Andrew’s Church, St. Andrews By-The-Sea Episcopal Church, Destin Water Users, Chick-fil-A, Harvest House of Destin, Sam’s Club, Boshamps Seafood & Oyster House, Lisa Snuggs Real Estate Group, Superior Accounting Service LLC, Sarah K’s Gourmet, Walmart Fort Walton, Walmart Santa Rosa Beach, Destin Fire Control District's fire fighters in Crystal Beach, Gordon Foods, Destin Panera Bread, Niceville Panera Bread, St. Andrew’s Bike Shop Blue Door Ministries, Tuesday Morning, Hanes Outlet Store, Graffiti & The Funky Blues Shack, Pepito's. Fort Walton Beach High School Leadership Program, Suburban Extended Stay Hotel, Gulfcoast Inn Naples, Best Western Inn & Suites, Huffy Bikes, Felines Friends of Destin, Airport Veterinary Clinic, Newman Dailey Resort Properties, RE/MAX, and Donut Hole Bakery Café.

Barbi Carroll,

Founder, Mission Love Seeds