After Hurricane Katrina Pearl River County experienced the influx of extraordinary love and support from outsiders who just wanted to lend a helping hand. So after witnessing the eerily familiar devastation Hurricane Harvey brought to our neighbors in the Houston area it's no surprise Pearl River County residents wanted to step up and help out.
On August 29, District one supervisor Donald Hart announced that he and the rest of the Pearl River County Supervisors were teaming up with Pearl River Community College to fill an 18 wheeler with supplies to help with the relief efforts in Texas.
Several businesses, civic organizations and churches quickly offered to help, setting up drop off locations throughout Picayune and Poplarville. By Friday, collection bins across the county were filling up.
Then it was time to decide where exactly the supplies needed to go. Hart knew that there were probably areas outside of Houston just as damaged but not getting any attention in the mainstream media, just like Pearl River County in the wake of Katrina.
Hart enlisted the help of local preacher Allen Hickman, who with the the help of his congregation at Resurrection life church in Picayune, had already sent down several truck loads of supplies to the Houston area. Because of Hickman’s participation with Somebody Cares America, a nonprofit organization that helps victims of natural disasters throughout the country, he had made contact with leaders of small communities surrounding Houston that were in great need of supplies.
“We wanted to make sure it would go directly to the victims and to smaller communities who may not be getting a lot of attention or support. Kinda like us after Katrina with New Orleans,” Hickman said. “Donald got it all together and I just helped out and told him where he needed to send it all. And it was really perfect timing because my friends over there are still feeding people and really hurting for supplies. Once that big truck gets there they have a team of pickup trucks waiting to go out and deliver the supplies to all the ones in need.”
Originally the truck was suppose the leave on Friday, September 8, but due to the urgent needs of that community the truck pulled out Tuesday morning, Hart explained.
“We had just about a whole truck full already and didn’t want to wait around when there were people in need,” Hart said. “We were given several cash donations as well so we teamed up with Sam’s and bought a few more pallets of supplies to finish filling the truck on the way out.”
According to Hart and Hickman, their efforts totaled in over $1,000 in cash donations and 18 pallets of supplies, such as bleach, diapers, water, non-perishable foods, towels, hygiene items, towels, soaps and first aid kits.
“What we've done as a community, trying to help our neighbors that are in need right now speaks volumes about the people in this place that we all call home, Pearl River County.” Hart said in a statement on Facebook. “We prayed for their community as well as ours for God's strength and comfort to be with them during their rebuilding process. Something we know all too well that He's able to do. Folks we are so much better together!”