BY MELANIE BUCK –
Cossatot River FFA students made it their mission last week to help victims of severe flooding in our neighbors to the south, Louisiana. With more than ??? inches of rain and up to six feet of water entering homes, businesses, churches, and schools, the citizens of Louisiana have lost almost everything they own. After seeing the devastation, the students in Cossatot River FFA wanted to do something to help.
“We were traveling to the Polk County Fairgrounds to help get ready for the Fair and it was pouring down rain,” said Jacie Wilkerson. “I looked at my buddy who said, ‘It’s pouring and flooding here.’” To which Jacie said, “no, it’s not flooding, it’s flooding in Louisiana. We need to figure out something to do. Why don’t we donate food or something?” After the idea came to her, Jacie explained how it all got underway. “I got a hold of more of my fellow FFA members and people began to bring food and toiletries and water; anything that a regular person uses on a normal day,” she explained.
The group made flyers to distribute throughout the county and even into Oklahoma in an effort to collect as much as they could before Friday. “We made flyers and talked to Mena High School. We put flyers everywhere and announced it on Facebook and Instagram. Others in FFA did the same and everybody heard about it. DeQueen found out, Smithville found out,” Jacie said. “We had tons of stuff coming in from all over the county.”
On Friday, August 26th, Officers of Cossatot FFA, along with their advisor, loaded everything up on their FFA stock trailer and started their southbound adventure. The group made their way to Gonzalez Fire Department where they unloaded the large amount of donations. The donations will be distributed by the Gonzalez Fire Chief as needed.
One Louisiana resident posted her thanks to the team for their selflessness on Facebook. Rachel Bordelon said, “I am so proud and humbled by all of you. The girls for having the heart to help, the communities that kicked in and stood behind the heart of these girls, the parents and friends who took the time to drive almost 8 hours to bring a livestock trailer full of things we Louisianans are so in need of. And also a camper for friends in need. To turn around and head back 8 hours to their home. God bless you a hundred fold!!”
Cossatot River FFA couldn’t be more thankful for those that helped. “We are so grateful to live in such a giving and kind community. Thank you so much to everyone who donated!”