ROCKINGHAM — After floods ravaged the Baton Rouge, Louisiana area earlier this month — killing 11 people and causing $20 billion worth of damage to 110,000 homes — the Sandhills Children’s Center wanted to help.
“A lot of stuff is going on in Louisiana and Baton Rouge. A lot of people have lost their homes, their animals, I mean everything’s gone. And it’s really affected a lot of the area down there around Baton Rouge. Not just Baton Rouge but the surrounding areas, as well,” said administrative assistant Audrey Spencer. “I just thought maybe we could do something to help them out, so we’re doing a drive until Sept. 9, and we’re collecting clothes, cleaning supplies, canned goods — anything that can help them down there, anything that they need.”
Spencer said that each classroom at the center has been tasked with gathering donations with the winner getting a pizza party. Program director Justin Clark also said that the Southern Pines campus is participating in an effort to get as many items to help as possible. But the staff is trying to get the ball rolling, not just at the school, but in the community, too.
“We’ve gotten a few things,” said Spencer. “We haven’t gotten a lot, but I’m hoping if we can have the teachers remind the parents, then I’m hoping for some more stuff. I really would definitely like to get more stuff. We’d like to get the word out. If anybody wants to bring anything they’re more than welcome to bring it. We will gladly accept it.”
She added the best time to bring items by the center would be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
In addition to Sandhills Children’s Center, Spencer said Brandy Cook — another administrative assistant — has been in contact with another woman who is taking donations at her home, with a lot of those being gas cards. This may present an opportunity to get the donations down to the bayou.
“She said if she has to take the stuff down, she will,” Spencer said about Cook’s contact. “So that could be an idea where she could take our stuff down, as well. I’ve contacted the post office to see if they would ship the stuff for free since it’s for relief. I talked to Enterprise, and I talked to Patrick Brown, and he said he would donate a truck, and I emailed him but have yet to hear back from him. So we’re just not sure how we’re gonna get it down there. We’re gonna get it down there one way or another. We’ll figure it out.”
With no doubt that the center’s items will make their way to their needed destination, Spencer looks at it as not only helpful, but as a learning experience.
“It’s a good cause. I love doing stuff with the community, and it’s Sandhills, so we’re helping the community,” she said. “The kids learn to give back and give to people in need, and I think it’s a good thing.”
Reach reporter Matt Harrelson at 910-817-2674 and follow him on Twitter @mattyharrelson.