(The Livingston Parish News) – It’s time to “pack the bus” for others.
The Livingston Parish Public Schools Transportation Department is currently holding a district-wide supply drive for the people of southwest Louisiana, which is facing a long road to recovery following the devastation of Hurricane Laura.
The drive is being spearheaded by Tamara Pichon, the shop manager of the Transportation Department who will lead a team of volunteers to the city of DeQuincy in northern Calcasieu Parish this weekend.
Supplies can be dropped off in the T-building behind the Transportation Department, located behind the Central Office in Livingston. Supplies can also be given to bus drivers, Pichon said.
The supply drive will run through Friday, Sept. 11. The next day, Pichon and a team of volunteers will travel to DeQuincy to drop off the items and distribute hot meals of pastalaya, jambalaya, hamburgers, and hot dogs.
Pichon has been coordinating the effort with a friend in Calcasieu Parish who she said reached out to Livingston Parish following the Great Flood of 2016.
“They helped us during 2016,” Pichon said. “They did a drive and brought stuff over here. We want to return the favor.”
Pichon discussed her plans during the Livingston Parish School Board’s meeting on Thursday.
During the meeting, Board Member Devin Gregoire said he spent the day visiting Vinton, a small town in southwest Louisiana where volunteers from Livingston Parish have visited multiple times over the last week.
Superintendent Joe Murphy said numerous Livingston Parish schools have “adopted” affected schools to assist with gathering supplies and donations. He is encouraged more to join the cause, recalling the way other schools reached out to Livingston Parish following the August 2016 flood.
“We’ve been through this ourselves, and it’s time for us to pay back some of the gratitude shown to us in 2016,” Murphy said.
Pichon said she hopes to bring a packed school bus to DeQuincy this weekend. She has released a flier with dozens of relief items that include non-perishable food items, toiletries, cleaning supplies, and pet supplies.
“People know what they needed in 2016, and that’s what we need to collect right now,” she said. “Every bit helps.”
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