Local artist and former Walton County Artist of the Year Justin Gaffrey left mid-morning on Friday with a van and 16-foot trailer filled with supplies he will deliver to the Cajun Navy in Lafayette, Louisiana. The Cajun Navy will then distribute the supplies to those in need in Houston and its surrounding areas who have been impacted by Hurricane Harvey and flooding.
"The idea came from Amanda Kaiser, who works in my gallery," said Gaffrey. "She came in Monday asking what we could do and we started tossing out ideas. This was one of them, and I said, 'let's do it.'"
Gaffrey got the van and trailer and positioned them outside his gallery on the corner of Blue Gulf Drive and County Highway 30A and placed a sign out front. As of Wednesday morning, they were almost full.
Gaffrey and Kaiser have asked for food items that can be eaten without cooking, such as food bars, crackers, baby food and baby formula, as well as diapers and cleaning supplies.
Kaiser located the Cajun Navy online and they will accept the delivery for distribution.
Although Gaffrey used to live in Houston, he said he no longer has family there.
"I have friends there, though, and many of my clients come from Houston," he said.
Once in Lafayette, Gaffrey said he will be able to find out more about immediate needs and how South Walton can help.
"I believe the major need next week will be for housing for those who lost their homes," he said. "And with this area moving into the off season, there should be plenty of vacant houses and condos that could be offered to them."