By Joel Hall
In response to residents living in the Texas Gulf Coast left without clothing from Hurricane Ike, Mom's Helping Hand Thrift Store in Jonesboro is donating the majority of its store inventory to hurricane victims.
This weekend, the thrift store, along with the National Disaster Medical Service (NDMS), is calling on the community to help.
From Friday to Sunday, 8 a.m., to 8 p.m., Mom's Helping Hand Thrift Store, located at 261 South Main St., will host a donation drive for clothing, as well as for the gas money to get it there.
At the end of the month, the store's owners plan to drive a tractor trailer of clothing to Beaumont, Texas -- one of the hardest hit areas of the September hurricane.
Once there, the clothing will be distributed to the Golden Triangle Baptist Association to victims living between Port Arthur, Texas (on the Louisiana boarder) and Baytown, Texas (a few miles east of Houston).
Loretta Battle and Carol Dale, sisters and co-owners of Mom's Helping Hand Thrift Store, didn't hesitate when deciding to donate all of their clothing -- 75 percent of their total inventory -- to the relief effort. Battle said the generous donation falls in line with the goals of the thrift store, which was established over a year ago in Clayton County.
"We're not closing at all," said Battle, an Army solider who works for the Warrior and Family Assistance Center at Fort McPherson. "We just want to help women and children in need. That's what we're about.
"The hurricane victims don't have these things and they need them to go back to school," Battle continued. "We have never turned anybody down."
According to Brenda LeFer, an NDMS medic living in Clayton County, the Texas trip came together through divine intervention.
LeFer, originally from Lake Charles, La., was planning a similar relief trip to the region by herself. Recently, shopping in Mom's Helping Hand Thrift Store, Battle and Dale were talking about what they could do to help hurricane victims in Texas, and Dale's husband, Ollie -- a trucker by trade -- just happens to own a massive semi.
"It's all God's divine sychronicity for me to be in the store when they were having the conversation," said LeFer. "These are wonderful clothes that are in good condition. It will go towards the continued help of Hurricane Ike victims."
Dale said the trip to Beaumont, will be 1,800 miles round-trip and likely cost $2,200 in diesel fuel. She hopes the community will absorb some of the cost in order to provide some comfort to the people of the Golden Triangle (Texas area).
"It's a blessing to give a blessing," said Dale. "You have people down there knee high in mud that have lost everything. What we give will multiply."
For more information, contact Mom's Helping Hand Thrift Store at (678) 886-2800.