For Beverly Amerson, there was no hesitation in offering to take a tractor trailer full of supplies to the victims of Harvey. She has known her share of tragedy, and she knows how important the kindness of strangers is in times of need. With that in mind, she told herself, “I don’t have any choice but to pay it back,” so she didn’t even wait to ask her fiance if he would be willing to drive the trailer to Texas. She just posted a call to action on Facebook and waited for the response.
Beverly is not the only Cochran resident to be moved to action by the suffering in Texas. Christopher Smith has also responded to the call for help and is taking supplies to friends in the Cajun Navy and planning to stay for a week to help in whatever way he can.
Beverly’s FaceBook campaign has brought together many in the Cochran community to help gather and organize donations that will be heading to Texas next Saturday. Volunteers Jackie Barton, Cheryl Mullis and David Brown are plastering the parking lots of Harvey’s and Wal-Mart with information about needed items and the times they can be delivered to the Farm Bureau parking lot. Local businesses like the Pool Store have offered their support as well.
Volunteers will be on hand when items are delivered to make sure that all donations meet the requirements of the Cajun Navy, the volunteer group that Beverly is coordinating with and who will oversee the distribution of the items once they reach Texas. Volunteers will inspect everything before it goes on the truck because as Beverly explained “We want everything that we deliver to be used.”
Those who would like to help can bring their donations to the Farm Bureau parking lot tomorrow. Donation hours are Saturday Sept 2 8-5, Sunday 2-5, Monday – Friday 8-5. (Please DO NOT call the Farm Bureau office for information.) Presently, plans are for Beverly’s fiancé, Jerry Earl, to head out early Saturday, September 9 for Port Arthur, Texas. However, conditions are still changing and details for delivery may change as well.
Christopher Smith left September 01 with a load of donated items that will go to help people in an area with which he is well familiar. During his nine years in the Army, Christopher was stationed at both Fort Polk in Louisiana and Fort Hood in Texas. He still has many friends in the area, two of whom work for area police departments. Christopher felt compelled to help in some way, but he didn’t know how he would be able to finance his trip. However, as he discussed his options with friends and family, an annanymous benefactor stepped in and volunteered to finance his trip.
Christopher will rendezvous with the Cajun Navy to hand off his donations and volunteer where needed. Christopher received first responder training during his time in the military and hopes his skills will be of use. He plans to help in whatever capacity is most needed. “I will do whatever needs to be done,” he said.
Doing what needs to be done to help those in need is a Cochran tradition. If you would like to help, you can make donations of purchased items in front of the Farm Bureau office through Friday of next week (remember do not call Farm Bureau.) Local churches are also collecting donations to be sent to Texas with a volunteer group from Westview Baptist Church in Hawkinsville. Those donations will be accepted through September 6th at area Baptist churches. Monetary Donations can be made through the American Red Cross at www.redcross.org or through the Georgia Baptist Disaster Relief at https://gabaptist.org/shop/disaster-relief-donation/