By Donna Britt - Michael Acaldo stood outside two open deliver trucks at St. Vincent de Paul. "We have brand new tags in it and everything! That is fabulous!" he exclaimed.
Acaldo was thanking two Plaquemine businessmen who donated two truckloads of shoes and clothes Monday.
The two Asian-Americans are the manager and owner of Dale's Trading Post in Plaquemine. The two men said it was time they had given something back to the community.
Manager David Nguyen said, "I'm Vietnamese. We came to the United States. Time for us to give back to people who unfortunately need clothes and lost everything."
He and Lou Chou said they were very moved by the devastation of the Philippines after the typhoon, and started thinking about their own business plans. They said they felt that people should do everything they can to relieve human suffering.
Nguyen said when they found they would have to wait to expand their Trading Post in Plaquemine, they decided not to store the inventory, but instead, to put it in the hands of people who really need it.
"The value is priceless to us because we're able to respond to someone who's homeless and is truly in need," said Michael Acaldo. "Right now, the weather's really, really cold and it's wet, and so these kinds of clothing items really help us in our mission of charity."
Nguyen and Chou said their donation represents about $80,000 in brand-new merchandise.