Bereft Louisiana Residents Get Houston County Helping HandBy Teresa Holloway
Messenger Reporter
CROCKETT – “Houston County is a small, family community accustomed to helping each other, but it goes far beyond that,” Judy Scott said. Scott is the Executive Assistant for Crockett Area Chamber of Commerce.
“When Joni Clonts, the owner of the Moosehead Café and Crockett Printing heard about the flooding in Baton Rouge, she went into action. She picked up the telephone and within hours had solicited the help of the Crockett Area Chamber of Commerce, Crockett Sheriff’s Department, Pastor Darryl Bennett of Eastgate Family Church and Pastor Steve Meadows of West Side Baptist Church to gather supplies for the flood victims in Louisiana,” Scott continued
“Clonts contacted Hope Reigns, an organization in Louisiana that was already in the process of helping, to let them know that help was on the way from Houston County. Word spread through the community and in just a week the Houston County Disaster Outreach was organized,” she continued.
The efforts culminated Aug. 31. A trailer loaded with water, cleaning supplies, paper goods, totes and other necessities began a journey to Baton Rouge.
Marty Spies, Jr. and Marty Spies, Sr. volunteered to transport those items. The articles should arrive Sept. 1 and be distributed by the Hope Reigns organization at ground zero in Baton Rouge.
“I believe when someone needs help, we should try to help,” Clonts said. “The morning I heard about the flooding and 60,000 homes destroyed I felt that Houston County could help. I contacted Hope Reigns in Baton Rouge and asked them what we could do for the people in the flooded areas.”
“Cleaning products, I was told, plastic tubs in order to wash the dishes and other items and then items could be stored in the tubs after the cleaning. I started calling people here in the county, to ask if their locations could be used as a drop off point.
“Several stepped up. The Crockett Area Chamber of Commerce, Pastor Otis Byers, Pastor Steve Meadows, the Houston County Sheriff’s Department, Mike and Amy Cutshaw, Mike Rich from Market Street Deli in Grapeland, Mike and Judy Curry from Curry’s Grocery in Kennard and David Driskell at Lovelady Farm and Ranch were some generous folks who helped out.
“Even the Trinity County Chamber set a date for items to be dropped off in Trinity. I contacted Pastor Darryl Bennett about a trailer and to see how we could get the donations to Baton Rouge.
“Mike McCreight from the Sheriff’s Office, along with Bobby Shoemake picked up items from the drop off locations.
“Darryl Bennett even made arrangements for transport from Lufkin to come to Crockett and pick up the full trailers. They will deliver them to the Maranatha Church of God in Baton Rouge where the things will be distributed.
“With everyone working together here in Houston and Trinity County, we reached out and touched lives of people we’ve never met.
“They may think no one cares or even knows about what happened in their lives, but we do know and we do care.
“I truly believe next time that we need to help, the people of Houston County will again step up and do it,” Clonts said.
terholloway@hotmail.com