AUBURN, Ala.- Thursday afternoon, Auburn University senior, Caleb Spearing and nine others left the South College Street Walmart parking lot with boats, ATVs, trucks, supplies and more in tow for Lake Charles, La.
Spearing and the other students will use Lake Charles as their base camp and will truck into Texas each day to help in any way they can.
“Every single one of the guys going down there, we love Jesus, and the definition of love is servant,” Spearing said. “We want to go and be a servant. Anything that we do on this earth, we want to be a servant, and we want to mimic Jesus Christ. We’re going to go down there and serve these people with everything we’ve got.”
The University Ace Hardware store is donation headquarters for supplies.
Auburn Community Church is partnering with Samaritans Purse to help in anyway they can. Thursday, donations poured into the Ace Hardware to benefit those in need. At one point, a donation from various nurses at East Alabama Medical Center was valued at more than $1,000 of supplies and cash. Another person purchased $400 worth of supplies to donate. Another person in Opelika donated 30,000 bottles of shampoo to the cause.
Susie Litkenhous and her husband are the owners of Auburn Dental Spa. They donated hundreds of toothbrushes, tubes of toothpaste and packs of dental floss for the cause. They and others said even though we all come from different backgrounds, it is people helping people in the end, and the outpouring of support has been amazing.
“I’m from Mississippi, and I was at my parents home when Katrina hit,” Litkenhous said. “You prepare for the storm, but you don’t necessarily prepare for what happens afterwards. Even though we didn’t get much damage, I know people that did, and to send them some help, even if it’s just a toothbrush and a toothpaste, so they can feel clean and feel normal. It’s the small things that make a big difference.”
Richard Jones is one of the folks headed to Texas next week to drop off donations and help in the clean up. He and others are leaving Monday and plan to be back next Friday or Saturday.
“With my wife’s family being there, it really hit us pretty hard,” Jones said. “Things just as simple as, hey, I need to run back to the house and get my phone charger, they can’t do that. We just take it for granted, and we just wanted to step in. The Lord placed that on our hearts that we need to step out and do something. We don’t think we’re special. We just want to be a part and do whatever we can do.”
Ace Hardware is offering a 20% discount to those who purchase items from the store to donate to the cause. They are looking for personal hygiene items, and other tools and hardware. Folks can also drop off items at both J&M Bookstores in Auburn.