BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - After receiving an overwhelming donation from Erlanger Medical Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee following last year's historic flood, Baton Rouge General is now paying it forward by delivering a massive collection of recovery items to the Ben Taub Hospital in Houston, Texas.
Hands remained busy Friday afternoon at the hospital's Bluebonnet campus as the finishing touches on the heartfelt donation came together. Staff there have rallied to overflow their Employee Care Center with items of their own to send to the Houston hospital.
"We wanted to be able to pay it forward this year, so as soon as we saw the heartbreaking flood happening in Houston, we knew that what we need to do was open up our care center and collect donations for that hospital," said Anne Segura, human resources director for Baton Rouge General.
The area is currently jam-packed with cleaning supplies, fresh scrubs, blankets and pillows, as well as personal hygiene items. The supplies will be loaded up on a 24-foot truck bright and early Monday morning and a staff member and her husband will drive the donations to Houston.
"We know that it's not going to ever be enough because we can't replace what they've already lost, but we hope that this will ease some of their pain, some of their anxiety," Segura added.
As employees raced to pack up the supplies before Monday morning, more items were still arriving late Friday afternoon, including some from Regina Leingang. She remembers the panic and mix of emotions she felt as Hurricane Harvey stalked the Gulf Coast last week, just over a year since Louisiana's catastrophic flood.
"I couldn't believe that it was happening again and I was kind of relieved that it wasn't Baton Rouge of course, but then really upset to know that our friends in Houston were going to be affected," said Leingang.
Leingang has worked at the hospital for roughly two years and as people in Baton Rouge are still recovering, she says seeing people in the community so willing to help others warms her heart. "They're like in tears and they're still in trailers and they're like, 'This is all I have to give, but I want to give back,'" Leingang added.
Segura says the amount of support shown over the past two weeks is a true testament to the beauty of helping others and the spirit of a community which remains unbroken. "It overwhelms me with emotion to be completely honest, but for a lot of people, they relived our flood with what happened in Houston and it was galvanizing to be able to do something with all of that emotion," said Segura.
The Ben Taub Hospital in Houston took on water when Harvey swept through the region, but they have set up a location to distribute those supplies.