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Lake of the Ozarks businesses collecting donations for hurricane relief

Several lake-area businesses are opening their doors to collect donations for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.

Yacht Club Powersports has taken on the responsibility of being the central hub. General manager Jeff Martin decided he wanted to collect donations earlier this week because the store was doing some radio interviews over the weekend and he thought those would be a good way to get the word out.

“I guess it just started as something that just pops into your head,” he said. “We were supposed to go to Dallas for some business-related stuff and with everything going on, it got put on the back burner.”

Martin said they put the word out and the response has been overwhelming.

“The stories that have brought tears to your eyes of how [people] have been affected and why they want to help,” he said. “It’s just been awesome. Just awesome.”

Martin said people can donate a number of things including bottled water, toothbrushes, new underwear and clothes, soap and even toys for children or dog food.

“The shelters down there are being overrun with stray pets right now so we’ve been asking for cat food and dog food,” said Martin.

The Realtor’s Board and Advantage Marine in Sunrise Beach are also drop-off points for donations. The Realtor’s Board is just on the other side of the toll bridge. The Lake Area Chamber of Commerce and the Convention and Visitors Bureau helped coordinate the drop-offs after Martin put out his initial call for donations and offered to have employees drive them to affected areas.

All three locations will accept donations through Monday and then they’re hoping to send drivers to wherever they need to go next Wednesday. Martin said he’s been in touch with the Red Cross and officials said they may end up asking the drivers to take the donations to Louisiana. Martin said they’re happy to go wherever they’re needed.

“With all the bad that goes on every day, to see that other side of people that want to help that take time out of their day to go to Walmart, that’s what it means,” Martin said. “There’s a lot of good people out there still.”

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