Hans’ Bakery organizes donation drive for Hurricane Irma victims

Staff Writer
I cover the cities of Andover, Blaine and Ramsey. I have worked at ABC Newspapers since August 2007.

Hans’ Bakery is sending a trailer full of supplies to Florida to help people impacted by Hurricane Irma.

The trailer is in the parking lot of Hans’ Bakery’s Anoka location, 1423 5th Ave., and will be there until 5:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 11.

“Our plan is to drive down as far as we can and get to a shelter that is in the most need,” said Kelly Olsen, owner of Hans’ Bakery.

Olsen said her father, Fred Berg, dropped off his trailer on Saturday, Sept. 9. He’s not an emotional guy, but he got misty eye as he thanked people dropping off donations outside Hans’ Bakery’s Anoka location.

There’s been a lot of clothes, water and hygiene products donated, but many more items as well.

They made a special requests for diapers and wipes when they noticed they were coming up short and also encouraged toys so the children would have something to take their minds off the hurricane and they got an influx of donations of these items, according to John Anderson, the new manager of Hans’ Bakery.
Surveying the donations on Monday morning, Olsen was excited to see shoes and boots. A friend who is volunteering in Houston, Texas for the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts pointed out that footwear is an important item that are not donated as often as other items.

She has been especially moved when she sees the kids drop off a donation. One little girl gave her allowance money and said it was “for the hurricane.”

Hans’ Bakery’s website also included a link to a site where monetary donations could be made. At the end of the day Sunday, Sept. 10, about $2,000 had been donated.

Nora Jefferis, 3, brought in deodorant, hand sanitizer, bars of soap and toothpaste with her grandmother Nora Lehti.

“I just wanted to help out,” Lehti said.

Olsen knows these supplies will be much appreciated because there’s nowhere for people to go to buy these items. She and her husband, Ben Olsen, own a home on Marco Island in Florida, which is south of Ft. Myers. Most of their neighbors were not home when Hurricane Irma made landfall on Sunday but the Olsen’s realtor lives close by and took a jet ski over to Marco Island and got pictures of deep water flowing through the streets. They do not know the extent of damage to their own property but will be taking a boat to their home after they drop off the donations to a shelter.

As she looked on as people continued to drop off donations, volunteer John Granger pointed toward the donations and said, “Feel the love.”

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Nora Lehti, of Coon Rapids, and her 3-year-old granddaughter Nora Jefferis, of Coon Rapids, brought deodorant, bars of soap, hand sanitizer and toothpaste to Hans’ Bakery Monday morning. Donations are being brought to Florida to help people impacted by Hurricane Irma. Photos by Eric Hagen John and Stevie Granger, Deb Crowe and John Anderson organize items being donated for victims of Hurricane Irma. The trailer was in the parking lot all weekend and will leave for Florida on Monday evening. Brenda Herman, of Andover, donated bottled water and a tote full of various supplies. 4-year-old Miles Holmberg, of Champlin, brought diapers wipes to the donation drive.
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Nora Lehti, of Coon Rapids, and her 3-year-old granddaughter Nora Jefferis, of Coon Rapids, brought deodorant, bars of soap, hand sanitizer and toothpaste to Hans’ Bakery Monday morning. Donations are being brought to Florida to help people impacted by Hurricane Irma. Photos by Eric Hagen