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No sooner had my Kippers’ Express Flood Relief crew arrived home from transporting 9000 plus pounds of supplies to my two and four-legged friends in Denham Springs, than an urgent request for my services came through once again, but this time from St. Landry Parish.
Mom immediately asked Lt Sophie Peach to put out an urgent request for more supplies, which of course she did.
We would be accepting donations for 4 days. While Sophie Peach did her promo , Mom called Mr. Earl at Chinaberry’s to tell him we were going to have another load. Bless him, he had already offered to take as many loads as necessary! He and Mom decided to once again load on Monday and head out Tuesday.
This time donations poured in from people whom we had never met. Many said that they had heard about us on the television the week before and were thrilled to find out, through social media and word-of-mouth, that we were once again gathering supplies. It was truly amazing.
Many of you may remember my friend FEBE (Federal Bomb Expert), the incredible black German shepherd who was the 2016 Barkus & Meoux Grand Marshal. Well, his wonderful handler Tommy Hollis, volunteered to help with the unloading and stacking of donations for three days! My dad was particularly appreciative! Unloading all these supplies from people’s cars and trucks into the house was rather tiring!
Then on Sunday, my friend, Joshua Shepard worked all day unloading, stacking and helping mom pack things up into huge tubs to make it easier on Mr. Earl’s crew Monday when donations would be loaded on the big Chinaberry’s truck for our second trip to South Louisiana. Josh is strong and very funny. We needed a bit of levity because we were often overwhelmed by the generosity of people. For example, two lovely ladies who were incredibly generous the week before when we were collecting for Denham Springs, surprised us with such a phenomenal amount of donations this time, that Petco’s manager even delivered them! Wonderful angels those two ladies!! Many of their donated items were much needed shipping crates. Many dogs who were already up for adoption, before the flooding, were to be shipped to rescues up north inorder to make room for people’s pets who were displaced by the flooding. That way, the displaced pets would have a better chance of being reunited with their owners. Then, the Tinsley’s from Claiborne Animal Clinic in Homer, LA, went out of their way to drive a pick up truckload of wire crates and other supplies to us. Money poured in and with it we bought dog runs for a new area of the St Landry shelter. We saw delivery after delivery from people whom we have never met, but we also saw so many people who gave for Denham Springs, but returned once again to help those in St. Landry. Serio’s Feed & Seed from where Dad buys horse feed graciously donated 500 plus pounds of dog chow. Thank you Miss Jena!
Unexpectedly, KSLA’s veteran news anchor, Jeff Ferrell showed up with a cameraman to talk with Mom and video all the wonderful donations we had received for the Kippers’ Express St. Landry’s Flood Relief. Mr Jeff seemed to be enamoured with the talking PR videos that Sophie Peach and I posted. He seemed amazed by our vocal ability. My goodness, after all, I AM the CEO of Classic Kippers and would be hard-pressed to run a company if I were not totally verbal. I cannot thank him enough for the coverage he gave us and to his fellow anchor, Marie Wexel, who did such a great job airing the piece.
Monday came and with it Mr.Earl and his crew. Mom showed him what we collected and told him that she did not think we had as much as the week before. He laughed and said, “You have twice as much as last week !” He said that we had enough for two trucks, so while his Chinaberry’s truck was being loaded Mom got on the phone and rented a Penske truck so that we could get all of our donations down there at one time. Both trucks were loaded in short order and ready for us to head to Opelousas Tuesday morning.
This time Auntie Susan and Mom would escort the trucks down. My Auntie Susan worked tirelessly both weekends helping to organize the donations as the cars were unloaded, she also helped pack supplies into tubs & boxes. Auntie Susan, you’re always there when I need you for a special project and this one may have been the most special we’ve ever done! Thank you so much -I’m sending you special love, licks, and woofs.
At a 6:45 AM, everyone was beginning to arrive. Auntie Susan rolled in to drive down with Mom, Mr. Earl and his crew to take the trucks and Miss Mary, once again, came to see them off with boxes of her fabulous homemade cookies. Not only that, but she had quietly and generously made multiply donations and contacted others out of town who sent checks that went toward our purchase of 5’x10′ dog runs.
I wanted to drive the Penske truck, but I’m a bit height challenged, so I just hopped in for a few quick pics! Including one with Mario and Frank who loaded the trucks! That third picture is Mr. Earl with Miss Mary and her box of THE BEST EVER chocolate chip cookies!
At 7 AM we rolled out of the driveway and onto I 49 for wonderfully uneventful trip to St. Landry Parish. Once there, we were happy to see that they had quite a crew ready to help unload our two trucks.
The shelter director, Miss Stacy, was in Colorado on shelter business, but she left us in good hands of these ladies! Auntie Susan is in the pink and Mom in the green. The ladies from the shelter are Miss Angela and Miss Kayla.
For all of you who donated, especially the people who donated to organizations after Hurricane Katrina, and expressed to us that you didn’t feel like your supplies got to those in need post Katrina, FEAR NOT- the supplies you donated this time- ALL OF THEM- went right into the hands AND paws of those in need. Since our delivery, St. Landry Parish Shelter has received a grant and with that money they were able to purchase the storage unit below. Miss Stacy sent Mom these pictures so you can see your wonderful supplies protected from the weather and organized beautifully, so they will be able to readily get to anything they need.
It is apparent from what we have heard and read that the jury is still out on our Government’s help since the flooding. However, seeing neighbors helping neighbors, strangers helping strangers and many good people orchestrating miracles, I can unequivocally say that the gold stars belong to, “We the people…”
I will close my blog on “Tails” of the Flood, with these pictures which show donated shipping crates filled with the hopeful faces of rescues, as they wing their way from Louisiana to cities throughout the United States in anticipation of forever homes.
Thank you for helping me to continue my mission to pay forward my good fortune, so that other animals, like “moi” might also find a new beginning.