South Mississippians donate during time of need - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

South Mississippians donate during time of need

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LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) -

WLOX introduced you to a Gulfport man on a mission to help Hurricane Sandy victims. He had one set of tools and was asking South Mississippians to donate more tools, so he could teach people in Union, New Jersey, how to strip their homes and start the rebuilding process.

Barnes is still is on the coast, that's because so many generous South Mississippians have donated hundreds of items. From churches to individuals, Barnes said the response has been overwhelming.

"Thank you so much sir," Thomas Barnes said to a man who donated. 

Hundreds of boxes and bags of donated items will soon be in the hands of people in need more than 1,000 miles away.

Alexandria Smith and Allison Fuentes said, "Food, jackets, shoes, generators and lights."

Fuentes and Smith are part of the First Baptist Church Youth Group in Pass Christian. They have been collecting items for about a week now and are happy to see the donations packed up ready for transport.

Smith said, "We definitely know what they are going through. Katrina was a long time ago, but it's still very recent in people's minds. When they think about all the stuff they lost, I think they realize, wow, they need as much stuff as we did, and they are trying to give back."

After meeting people from Union, New Jersey, who have come to the coast every Christmas since Katrina to head up a toy drive, Thomas Barnes was on a mission. He had one set of tools and was asking people to donate more tools so he could go to Union and show people how to strip their homes and start the rebuilding process.

Barnes said, "I was supposed to leave out a few days ago, but my phone kept ringing and ringing. I have had so many people donate so much stuff and it's turned into something absolutely huge."

The gracious donations from South Mississippians have been overwhelming for Barnes. In fact, his 53 foot long trailer was donated, so Barnes has a way to carry all the items to Sandy victims.

Barnes added, "One person with one idea. As long as you stick to it and never give up, [you] can change the lives of so many people."

You still have until Monday evening to donate any items. The trailer will be parked at the Long Beach Harbor and Barnes will begin his journey to Union on Tuesday morning.

On a side note, David Fayard, the man who donated the trailer, also donated a driver to drive the trailer to New Jersey.

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