New Orleans donation organizers send supplies to families in Arkansas

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wwltv.com

Posted on April 30, 2014 at 7:16 PM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 30 at 7:22 PM

Ashley Rodrigue / Eyewitness News
Email: arodrigue@wwltv.com | Twitter: @ashleyrwwl

JEFFERSON, La. -- A pile of clothes, toys and toiletries is collecting at Le Jouet on Airline.

Ann Herren, who is organizing the drive, said it's what people should do when they see others in need.

"We're in New Orleans and we had Katrina, and so we know better than anybody what it means to have these immediate needs after a disaster,” said donation organizer Ann Herren.

The main purpose of this effort is for the Conways in Vilonia, Ark. Nick Conway travels to his New Orleans job about once a month. He and his wife fled Sunday's tornado with their 8-year-old and 7-month-old just in the nick of time.

"We started coming down the road and I could tell it was just annihilated. And so there were people lying on the ground bleeding and yelling and screaming,” Conway said.

The help isn't just for the Conways. It's also for their neighbors, including the Michels, who are originally from Marrero.

They, along with other families, hid from the twister in a storm shelter and emerged to start rescuing dozens caught in the storm.

"It was just really, really bad, an image you don’t want to really keep in your head,” Charlotte Michel said.

Those stories are what drive organizers hope push New Orleanians to give.

"Need for clothing, the need for toiletries. I think also when you have kids involved, creating normalcy for them is very important, so toys, books to read to them,” Herren said.

Even though these families have literally nothing left in front of them, they’re encouraged to know that a new beginning is on its way back home.

"You're friends, you’re coworkers, but you don’t know that they’re going to rally up and support you when you get into a time of need, so it makes you feel good,” Conway said.

It's a favor New Orleanians know about getting and one Vilonia is now hoping to pay forward in the future.

Click here for more information on Le Jouet. They're located at 1700 Airline Hwy, and their number is 837-0533.

 

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