Donation drive for Louisiana underway in Northport

Published: Aug. 29, 2016 at 2:56 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 29, 2016 at 3:18 PM CDT
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Coach Dana Duckworth helps organize donations Monday morning. (Source: Terri Brewer/WBRC)
Coach Dana Duckworth helps organize donations Monday morning. (Source: Terri Brewer/WBRC)

NORTHPORT, AL (WBRC) - Alabama Gymnastics Head Coach Dana Duckworth, ReadBAMARead and Two Men and a Truck are collecting donations in Northport to support Louisiana flood relief. Donations are being accepted in the parking lot of Winn-Dixie, at the intersection of McFarland Blvd. and Watermelon Rd., through Wednesday, 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day.

The drive is focused on meeting the needs of Louisiana residents, as they move forward in the recovery process. See the photo for a full list of items the group is collecting.

"What we found after the April 2011 tornadoes, is that after the initial round of aid comes through, the needs of those affected change as they move into the recovery and rebuilding stage," Duckworth said. "We're trying to meet those needs with this drive."

Duckworth also said the group has partnered with a church in Louisiana to accept the donations, and is working to collect specific items to meet specific recovery needs. She says they are not collecting clothing, simply because it can be hard to store and distribute clothing in a disaster-affected area.

For instance, Duckworth said cleaning supplies and masks to help with mold clean-up would be useful, as well as car seats, because so many vehicles have been flooded. She also said they recently received a donation of good quality men's work boots, which would be valuable to people trying to recover in Louisiana.

"I think people need to be smart about bringing really good quality things, because when we show up in Louisiana, from Tuscaloosa, we want it to be that we really thought through this, and we had a plan of attack," Duckworth said.

Duckworth also highlighted the generosity of volunteers from Louisiana, following the April 27, 2011 Tuscaloosa tornado, and said it is now important to return the good deed.

According to Duckworth, ReadBAMARead was born from the need to lend a helping hand after a natural disaster. The primary focus of the organization is childhood literacy, but the organization also works to provide assistance where it is needed.

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