RUSTON, La. (5/16/19)– When the country thinks of Louisiana, a few things may come to mind.
Our beautiful landscapes and wildlife, the ultimate “sportsman’s paradise” and of course, the endless amount of phenomenal food.
But our state offers something else that makes us uniquely who we are, the one thing that really stands out, is how the people here are willing to help their neighbor.
Especially after tragedy strikes.
When a tornado ripped through Ruston in April, people from all over the state swarmed together to help the city get back on its feet.
“I started getting calls from other mayors, other cities, electrical companies offering their support. there were neighbors helping neighbors cut tree off houses and everything else. People just coming into the area to help cut,” said Ruston Mayor Ronny Walker.
The deadly storm left a path of destruction behind, but Louisianans swiftly came together to start picking up the pieces.
“It was quite interesting because you saw this large sense of community. You saw this large sense of everyone coming together. You had people, even if they couldn’t come, they showed their support, they donate. You know, they tried to help out anyway they could,” said Louisiana Tech student Daniel Christian.
Nearly 2,000 Louisiana Tech students started cleaning up just two days after the storm.
Volunteers from as far as New Orleans showed up to help local businesses that we’re destroyed.
For business owner Tyler Storms–the outpour of support–simply overwhelming.
“The strongest feeling that I have….is the love that I’ve received, and that’s the….that’s the strongest feeling that I have,” said Storms.
This sense of community, the way Louisiana is always lending a helping hand, it’s something that Mayor Walker says revolves around an unshakable sense of faith.
“Churches are kind of the center of our communities and I think when you look at our city, I say it’s special all the time, but when you look at it, you see that faith plays a big part of that,” said Mayor Walker.
Yes, in Louisiana there’s a lot of things we’re known for.
There’s a lot of things we should be proud of, but our willingness to help each other, our sense of love for our neighbors and community…
Well, that should top the list.
“I think if we could nail it to one thing, in Louisiana, I’d say we enjoy life, and we live it to the fullest and therefore we just like to help other people,” said Mayor Walker.