Sunday, December 17, 2017
Tampa Bay Weather

Missouri couple drive 22 hours to deliver supplies to Tampa Bay

Fueled by Red Bull, AMP and other energy drinks, a Missouri couple drove 22 hours across the country to deliver baby food, diapers and more than 100 cases of water for people in the Tampa Bay area.

Michael and Amber Myers, of St. Robert, Mo., took time off work and loaded up a van they rented.

The husband and wife gave about 100 cases of water and other supplies to the Tampa Police Department.

They arrived in the Tampa Bay area around 3 a.m. Those on duty at the Police Department were surprised to see them.

"We don't have people donate things in the middle of the midnight shift," said police Lt. Ruth Cate. "It just doesn't happen. It took about 10 minutes to unload all of it. And they were gone."

Before the two went to the Police Department, they stopped in St. Petersburg to hand over supplies to three families without electricity who were affected by Irma. The families all have children born with gastroschisis, a birth defect where a child is born with intestines outside the body.

"That is what brings us all together," said Michael Myers, whose 9-year-old son suffered from gastroschisis. "We have never met any of these families in Florida before today."

Michael and Amber Myers both volunteer with Avery's Angels, a nonprofit support group for families with children born with gastroschisis.

The two used their own money to rent the van, pay for gas and buy the more than 100 cases of water.

"We make it work," Amber said. "It's all worth it."

They pulled into a rest station an hour north of Tampa to get some sleep before their drive back home. Michael said he had a lot of energy while driving down, but doesn't feel the same level of enthusiasm for the drive back.

"There was just so much passion for what we were doing when we drove here. You tell your mind and body, 'The families need this,'" he said. "Right now, I'm kind of dreading the ride back."

Contact Jonathan Capriel at [email protected]

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