BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - South Mississippians are being asked to show Louisiana hurricane victims that just because they live in a small town doesn't mean they've been overlooked for disaster relief. When a Biloxi firefighter with family ties to Venice put out the call to help the town of less than 2,000 residents, he said people immediately offered to help.
Biloxi firefighters, police officers, and staff from the West End Hose Company Number Three Fire and Educational Museum took inventory of some of the relief supplies collected so far for the people of Venice, Louisiana.
"Everybody in this community knows what it's like to be left alone for awhile," Biloxi Fire Captain Joe Boney said. "A lot of the smaller communities in Louisiana, it's not intentional, but they are left alone a lot longer than the larger communities. We feel it's important to reach out and touch even the small communities."
Capt. Boney's relative is a volunteer firefighter in Venice, a town that flooded after Hurricane Isaac.
Boney asked his relative, "'What do y'all really really need?' And he said, 'A lot of roofing materials. People want to patch their roofs so they can get back to life.'"
"So we're asking for any kind of roofing materials shingles, tar paper, rolled tar paper, nails. Anything pertaining to roofing materials, tarps," Capt. Boney said.
When the supplies are dropped off on Sunday, South Mississippi emergency responders won't immediately head home. Biloxi police officers are going to cook chicken dinners for 300 Venice city employees and their families to cheer them up.
Biloxi Police officer Harold Windham said, "It will really wear on a person after the storm. Any kind of a storm. That or disaster. You just get into a rut and you've got to get broken out of it."
Capt. Boney has a message for the public. "To the people that don't have a lot to give, don't feel intimidated. If you have a bundle of shingles in your garage or a box of nails, bring them. Because it takes all that to make this effort."
Officials are still in need of more cleanings supplies, non-perishable food, and building materials. You can drop off your donations at any Biloxi Fire Station until 5 pm on Friday and at the museum on Howard Avenue from 8 am until 3 pm on Saturday.