LENEXA, Kan. — UPDATE, Sept. 6 | City Center Church's outreach pastor, Luke Weese, said that because of the publicity the event got, they were able to fill the truck in one day.
Four churches brought truckloads of food and supplies. They are hopeful to send another truck by next week.
ORIGINAL STORY, Sept. 4 | Hurricane Ida devastated coastal Louisiana, along with other parts of the country, but City Center Church in Lenexa, Kansas, is hoping to fill a truck with supplies to bring a little bit of help to people who need it most.
“They are not able to replenish because the stores are empty, the food pantries are empty. If we can all remember what it was like when we were just trying to find toilet paper, that’s what it’s like for everything down there right now,” said Joe Sabo, active member of City Center Church.
Following their faith, outreach pastor Luke Weese and head pastor Matt Purkey could not turn away from a community in dire need.
“We were reached out to from St. Tammany Parish, and they were working with a food bank there, their sister organization, and they are just in a desperate place,” Weese said. “Food banks are shut down, and they had to wait until this coming Tuesday to get food restocked. The grocery stores are empty, thousands are without power, there’s not heat to heat up food or anything.”
Getting right to work, Wesse, Sabo and Purkey helped quickly organize a trip to take supplies roughly 12 hours south.
“Well, the reaction was honestly quite easy. When someone is hurting, you make an effort, you take a stand, you reach out,” Purkey said.
However, they can’t do it alone. They're now asking the people of Kansas City and surrounding areas to donate before they head to Louisiana Monday morning.
“You think about the stuff you just can’t get a hold of," Weese said. "There’s babies everywhere, so they need diapers and wipes ... tarps and toilet paper and paper towels. They need all kinds of things for first aid, they need canned goods you don’t need a can opener for."
Right now, all they want is to be a beacon of hope for people who have lost so much.
“The pain, the things people have lost, personal items, things that they will never be able to recover," Sabo said. "These little things, not having to worry about food or repairs being done to their homes, just those burdens being taken off their shoulders is a huge weight."
City Center Church also says those who wish to donate money to help those in Louisiana can do so by visiting their website.
However, for anyone planning to donate items to the church, Weese says someone will be available on Sunday, Sept. 5 until 10 p.m. at 17500 W. 87th St., Lenexa, Kansas, 66219.
At this time, for anyone wishing to donate who cannot before the trip on Monday, the church will continue accepting donations to deliver to those in need.