Charitable organizations and the people who run them have dedicated their lives to serving those in need in the community — whether that community is around the corner, across the country or across an ocean.
Mission Love Seeds, based in Destin, is one of those organizations. Although it was founded in December 2004 to help feed families in the Philippines, after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 founders Barbi Carroll and her husband, John Hawbaker, felt a need to help at home as well.
MLS continues its work in the Philippines and in Mississippi, but has expanded to help victims of tornadoes, locals in Destin and surrounding areas, and those living in one of the two poorest counties in the United States — Lee County in Appalachia, Ky.
But charitable organizations such as Mission Love Seeds can’t do their work without the support of their local community.
All hotels in this area contribute in their own special way and donate linens, TVs, beds, furniture, and even left behind items to MLS.
“The Village Inn was one of the first to support Mission Love Seeds by giving beds to help families who lost everything to Hurricane Katrina in Mississippi,” Carroll told The Log. “The Village Inn and Days Inn continue to give on a regular basis and have become very loyal and faithful supporters of Mission Love Seeds.”
Nash Patel, general manager at Days Inn, is one of those supporters.
“We heard about the Mission from Becky Dayaram, general manager of The Village Inn of Destin,” Patel told The Log. “She has been assisting many local churches and charities with shelter for the homeless and donations of toiletries and gift packs for the women’s shelters.”
Patel said the donations for Mission were a joint effort between the Days Inn and the Village Inn.
“We became involved with Mission Love Seeds because we felt it was our duty to assist the people in our community who are in need,” Patel said.
“This year alone we have donated more than 100 rooms of furniture, with an additional 100 more to donate to include, but not limited to, mattresses, box springs, head boards, dressers, lamps, curtains, pictures, televisions, nightstands, mini-refrigerators and more.”
“Nash and his associates have provided much needed supplies over the last eight years,” Hawbaker told The Log. “Mission Love Seeds is so blessed to have Nash and the local community help to represent the local area.”
Mission Love Seeds teams with Pastor Curtis Manning of Appalachia Outreach to insure the supplies reach families who live below the poverty level. Truckloads are sent on a regular basis.
“This past summer, we provided beds for foreign students who were here for the summer,” Carroll said. “We receive calls on a regular basis from single fathers and mothers needing beds and furniture for their children.”
During tornados or a natural disaster, furniture is delivered to affected areas as soon as families have a place. Much of the furniture and supplies goes to help families living in Destin or the surrounding area. Some furniture is sold to raise funds to pay for fuel and trucks to pick up the furniture and supplies. During the sales, if families are not able to pay, furniture and beds are given at no charge.
“With all the hotels support, Mission Love Seeds is growing by leaps and bounds and is able to help many families who have no way of purchasing these items,” Carroll said.
Other hotels that help on a regular basis include The Comfort Inn, Embassy Suites, Holiday Inn and Ramada Inn on Okaloosa Island.
“Thanks to the support of these generous hotels and others, Mission Love Seeds is able to reach out and help so many families in need,” Carroll said. “Our base and mission is ever expanding and we encourage people to not only volunteer their contributions, but also their time.”
A need at this time is money for postage to send the boxes of toys, clothes and supplies to the Philippines in time for Christmas. Destin United Methodist Women have contributed to this need.
If you would like to help Mission Love Seeds meet the needs of those living in poverty or those who have suffered through difficult times or catastrophic events, visit www.missionloveseeds.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 850-650-5583. No donation is too small.