Gonzales community rallies to fill big rig with supplies for tornado victims

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POSTED: Thursday, May 15, 2014 - 5:00am

UPDATED: Thursday, May 15, 2014 - 5:04am

Tornado victims in Mississippi will owe a big thank you to the town of Gonzales, and especially to a handful of people who are sending an 18-wheeler full of supplies.

"It's easy to help people when you can make a few phone calls," Rhett Bourgeois said. "I called a few political figures, and their groups all helped donate. The school board really, really helped. They gave over $2,000 to buy Blue Runner beans."

Bourgeois and Sandy and Lester Duplessis filled up a truck last year after the deadly tornadoes in Oklahoma.

"We just got with different people and started a donation and we filled up the truck," Sandy Duplessis stated. "So when the tornadoes hit up towards Mississippi, Arkansas, decided, I gave (Bourgeois) a call and see if we could do it again. And sure enough, here we are."

People from around Gonzales have dropped off clothes, food, and other necessities to put on a truck that Lester Duplessis will drive to Louisville, MS. But businesses also were quick to give.

"Zapp's donated 10 or 11 palettes of potato chips," Bourgeois mentioned.

"Blue Runner donated 85 cases of beans," Sandy Duplessis added.

Many of the volunteers have lived in south Louisiana all their lives, so they understand disaster and loss, and how important a little help can be.

"We're, the community of Gonzales and Ascension Parish, that we're a giving community and everything," said Joey Templet. Templet, general manager of SACS Western Store, brought over three palettes of donated clothing and feed.

The truck is almost full, and will hit the road Thursday by noon. But there is always room for a little bit more.

"Please, whatever you can donate, it is very much appreciated," Sandy Duplessis said.

The truck is currently parked in the Bayou Plaza Shopping Center at the intersection of Airline Highway and LA 44. It is scheduled to depart by noon Thursday.

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