The residents of Moss Bluff, Cameron and Lake Charles, Louisiana have not had an easy year, what with both Hurricane Laura and Hurricane Delta devastating the area earlier this year.

The Carthage High School chapter of the National Honor Society is working to lend a hand and give out needed supplies to those South Louisianians.

“They’re really suffering the blow,” Senior Caroline Baldree said. “There’s immediate support there at the beginning and it’s always canned food, which is always helpful, but there are a lot of necessities that are forgotten. So this hurricane relief drive is really towards the practical things that are forgotten, like toilet paper, paper towels, hardware tools and trash bags. We’re really just trying to lighten the load for our friends in South Louisiana.”

The hurricane relief drive is running through Dec. 4, and community members are encouraged to donate supplies that the NHS officers will take down to South Louisiana in a few weeks.

Drop-off locations are at Carthage High School, Carthage Junior High School, Baker-Koonce Intermediate School, Libby Elementary School, Panola College, the Lake Murvaul marina, Dazzle’s, Mission Carthage and Kountry Fresh Pizza.

Needed supplies include: totes for storage, diapers/rash medicine, baby wipes, first aid kits, duct tape/painters tape, paint brushes, Walmart gift cards, tarps/plastic sheeting, rope/cords/bungee ties, towels, wash sheets, hammers, screwdrivers, non-perishable food, trash bags, small tool bags/kits, generator oil, propane bottles, 5-gallon buckets, 1-gallon buckets, camping stoves, can openers, plastic dishware, bug spray, baby formula, blankets, sheets, pillows, hygiene items, paper towels and toilet paper.

Baldree said they’re not looking for monetary donations. Only the tangible items many families and people may have lost in the storms.

Last Friday, NHS members gathered up donations they had received so far and started to organize them. Baldree said they were thankful for the community’s help so far.

“We’ve had a pretty positive response,” Baldree said. “We’ve had a lot of willing business owners that have opened up their businesses to be drop-off locations.”

National Honor Society advisor Catherine Jackson agreed and said the drive was part of the NHS pillars of character, leadership and service. The group’s goal is to come down to South Louisiana with $5,000 worth of merchandise. Jackson said if everyone in Panola County just dropped off one item, it’d make a huge difference.

“I’ve been through three hurricanes before I moved up here and lost everything,” she said. “The sheets, the pillows, some of the stuff that no one ever thinks of, and it’s hard. They come in at first and then they just disappear.”

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Carthage native Meredith Shamburger has worked for the Panola Watchman since 2018. Before that, she worked at sister papers in Longview and Marshall; the Dallas Morning News; and The Daily Voice, a hyperlocal news company in Westchester County, New York.