RUSTON, La. (4/26/19)– The smell of freshly grilled burgers filled the air outside of the Ruston Civic Center.
All hands were on deck as volunteers worked tirelessly to serve their community.
A strong sense of unity shared after a deadly tornado ripped through the city.
“Whenever this happened, it hit home for us and we decided that we wanted to make a difference,” said Justin Nelson, volunteer.
Volunteers donating food, water and their time. Lunch bags prepared for those who were without. Tarps available for those looking to repair. The community–unifying as one.
“People from all over, call us today and say that they’re excited about helping us, what we’re trying to do is trying to find where the need is greatest and send people where they can be the most help,” said Amy Stegall, Lincoln Parish volunteer coordinator.
The volunteering goes beyond the donations. People are also cleaning the scattered piles of debris at homes and businesses.
Some affected more than others.
“The tornado took off both the wall and the roof here at the office. An oak tree destroyed my garage, my attic and both of my cars,” said Ruston resident Tyler Storms.
It’s been difficult to face the damage left behind, but volunteering and generosity is making all the difference.
“It’s humbling because you’re usually the one that’s out there helping, so when you see someone who just comes out of the goodness of their heart to help you, it really means a lot,” said Kim Dupree.
For those seeking assistance from businesses, officials have this message.
“If you have a question about a particular contractor and you feel that something is not right, you can contact the Louisiana State Licensing Board,” said Stephen Williams with the Lincoln Parish Sheriff’s Office.
If you are interested in volunteering, contact the Ruston Civic Center.