A mother and daughter from southern Iowa have found an unusual way to bond — serving meals to 600 people a day in the moist heat of hurricane-ravaged Florida. Donna Payne of Lamoni and her daughter Dayna are volunteers with the American Red Cross. They’re in Pace, Florida, near Pensacola, which was whacked by Hurricane Dennis a few days ago. Payne says there are a lot of trees down and big signs are blown out. They’ll soon be headed into residential areas to feed the people who had significant storm damage. She says the electricity is out in a wide swath of the area too. The Payne ladies are driving a big van called an ERV, an emergency response vehicle from the Central Iowa chapter of the Red Cross in Des Moines. Payne says this is her 11th disaster with the agency and she’s eager to serve. Payne says “I live alone and I would hate to think if a tornado hit my home that there wouldn’t be somebody there to help me, so consequently I feel there’s a lotta’ people down here that need help and I have the time to do it so I’m just paying back people. I get out of it by serving and helping others and thinking someday if I need it, maybe there’ll be somebody there for me.” Payne’s daughter, Dayna, is a kindergarten teacher in Houston, Texas, who was home in Iowa for summer vacation. The elder Payne says it’s a real treat to make the trip together. She says they’ve wanted to do this for years but never had the opportunity to simultaneously volunteer until now. Their tour of the Panhandle should last about three weeks. To help the Red Cross help hurricane victims recover, call 800 GIVE LIFE.
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