CARTHAGE, Texas (KTRE) - Members of the National Honor Society at Carthage High School started a Hurricane Relief Drive last month as they asked the community for donations to help hurricane victims in the Cameron, Lake Charles and Moss Bluff areas Southwest Louisiana.
Some of those students were able to drop off those donations personally a few days ago.
“It was very humbling, and we were very grateful to go down there,” senior Maria Piedra said. “It was strange to see all those houses still covered in tarps months after the hurricanes because in East Texas, we don’t really experience that.”
Last Saturday, students, along with faculty and parents, arrived at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Lake Charles to distribute meals and donated supplies.
“It was such a blessing to be able to provide for them and their needs,” junior Taylor Cureton said. “To see how emotional they were, it impacted not only them but us as well.”
“When we realized we didn’t have enough, me and another member Crosby, we actually went out into the community we asked for more donations,” senior Gracie Stegall said. “Anything that people could give. We ended up raising more than $410 just by doing that in one afternoon.”
In total, they dispersed about five-thousand dollars’ worth of much-needed supplies, provided 1,080 meals, and handed out 1,200 leg quarters donated from Tyson Foods.
“I gave this older woman some paper plates and paper towels,” senior Caroline Baldree recalled. “She starts to tear up and she says, ‘you know, we have nothing. We are so thankful y’all are here. My kids have been eating on napkins at home because we don’t have paper plates, and this was all I really wanted when I came here today.’”
“There were people there from that church who were working with us, and they were hit by this too,” senior Will Jackson said. “It wasn’t just the in the lines. Even through this devastation, they were still able to give.”
The students say they learned a lot from this experience and plan to help even more people.
“I can’t imagine going through what they went through, and we have so many in our town that have so much of a need for basic things like food or clothes,” senior Avery Malone said.
“I see what these people three hours from us went through, and it makes me think about those who are 3,000 miles away,” senior Abby Wilkerson said.
“After going there and actually seeing the destruction in your own eyes, talking these people that are really in need, you actually see the situation,” senior Jorge Solis said. “We knew they were devastated and that we actually helped alleviate some of their pain.”
Carthage High School’s National Honor Society Advisor Catherine Jackson says the organization plans to conduct more service projects for those locally and brainstorm to see what more they can do to help those in Southwest Louisiana.