More than 50 semis and trucks with trailers left Perry, Michigan at 7:00am Sunday bound for wildfire affected areas of Kansas. Among them is Frank Szymanski, a farmer himself from Port Austin, Michigan. He was amazed at the outpouring of donations from that area once plans were made. He described it as heartwarming “to realize that the people out there are mostly good despite what we see on TV sometimes.”
Szymanski said the effort began about a week ago as about a dozen trucks began organizing for a trip to Kansas and it snowballed from there. He said another crew decided they would follow suit and they called a mutual friend of his and he had about three or four friends that thought they’d like to go. “Well then other people said ‘well I can help!’ And everybody had their own tree of friends as they said ‘Yeah I’ll go’. Then their friends found out and they wanted to either join in or help with fuel money or donating hay. So it was truly just a spontaneous thing I guess you’d call it.”
While, most trucks are heading to the Ashland, Kansas area, Szymanski’s group of about 10 trucks will be going further down Interstate 80 into Sedgwick County, Colorado. Some will even cross into Oklahoma. Each of the trucks has a relief driver with it.
Szymanski concluded that it “just makes you proud to be part of the rural community. You see the farmers as your neighbor no matter how far away they are. So you feel like you do what you can, when you can.”
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