Gramercy church volunteers help tornado victims

Gramercy volunteers help tornado victims
(Source: WAFB)
(Source: WAFB)
(Source: WAFB)
(Source: WAFB)

GRAMERCY, LA (WAFB) - The First Baptist Church of Gramercy collected an overwhelming supply of food, clothes, and more for victims of Tuesday's tornadoes.

Volunteers jumped into action just hours after the storm, opening the doors of the church for victims who lost everything.

"We don't want people to leave here and say they still need. We want to fulfill every need they have," said volunteer Regina Scarbrough.

Haley Jenkins, who oversaw similar efforts for Hurricanes Katrina and Gustav, is organizing this donation as well.

"I've done this before in the past, and this has far passed up anything I've ever done," Jenkins said.

What started out as just a few donations quickly spilled into the hallways and other rooms, filling every nook and cranny of the church.

"When we mention we need something, almost before we can get it out, somebody's driving up and bringing it. It's like they knew before we did. And it just keeps coming, it just keeps coming," Scarbrough said.

Several storm survivors arrived Friday afternoon, including Connie Guedry. She was in the Sugar Hill RV Park as the tornado came crashing through.

"It was like someone picked up the RV, like they was rocking us to sleep, and then all of sudden we were set down and we were rolling," Guedry said.

Her trailer was blown to smithereens. When she returned to the RV park after the storm, she encountered a Mary and Baby Jesus figurine at her trailer site. Her Christmas decoration, a manger scene, was perfectly preserved.

"I had a guardian angel, someone was watching over me," Guedry said.

And now she arguably has even more: a community reaching out to help in the face of tragedy.

"They're leaving here with more than just what's in those bags. They're seeing that there's hope, and people that care," Scarbrough said. "We may be down, they may be out, but they're not giving up hope."

Donations are still welcome throughout coming days. They are looking for things like peanut butter, cleaning supplies, blankets, towels, and more.

The church is located at 1046 North Airline Ave. in Gramercy, La. 70052. More information can be found at its website and Facebook page. To find out more, call 225-869-3467.

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