As south Texas and southern Louisiana begin recovery efforts after Hurricane Harvey, organizations and citizens in Webster Parish are coming together to help.
First Baptist Church in Sibley is collecting items needed to send to Texas and south Louisiana as Harvey continues to make its way across the two states. Evelyn Colvin, church member, said anyone can drop off items such as hygiene products (toothpaste, toothbrushes, bath soap, shampoo, etc.), paper plates, plastic cutlery, paper towels and other items.
Items can be dropped off at the Gospel Community House, located at 311 North Main St. in Sibley, which will be open 24 hours a day for people to deliver their donations.
“We’re going to leave it open for mostly things such as water, diapers, wipes, formula, cups, hygiene products and cleaning supplies,” she said. “It could be a while before people get back in their houses, so we’re planning on making this an ongoing thing, not just a one-time shot.”
She said the supplies will be going with a contact in Bossier City as he heads down south to join the Cajun Navy. He will take his boat and enclosed trailer loaded with supplies.
“He was just sitting there thinking, ‘I am so blessed,’ and he jumped on Facebook,” she said.
She said the man, who has been left unnamed, is a contact through her Springhill High School alumni group. He emailed everyone in the group and asked who was interested in assisting in this endeavor.
“We all jumped on board,” she said. “If any businesses or organization would like to drop off stuff, they can. We will send our first shipment out Wednesday.”
Diana and Rickey Sanders, of Sanders Machine, are also gathering supplies to go to the hardest hit areas of Texas, via the Cajun Navy. She said they have an enclosed trailer and are accepting water, nonperishable food; mainly snack foods, hygiene items, muck buckets, cleaning supplies, diapers, wipes and formula.
“We’re putting together a small group to go down to try do some rescues,” she said. “We have an enclosed trailer that sits there every day doing nothing, so we are hoping to fill it and take it down there.”
She said they will not accept clothing, but will take other items needed.
“The reason we were thinking food-type items is because they say it could be months before the water has receded enough to start cleanup,” she said.
Sanders Machine is located at the South Webster Industrial District in Sibley. They can be reached at 318-371-1040. Colvin can be reached at 318-518-4176, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.