Iowa Jaycees have collected enough non-perishable items to fill 20 semi-trucks and they’re headed to Louisiana. Iowa Jaycees state president Molly Redenbaugh of Ames says she hasn’t had much sleep. “I think I got a total of an hour last night,” she says. “We started this process at five p.m. and we’ve been working diligently since then, unloading trucks and packing and sorting so everything’s according to FEMA regulations for delivery.”
Most relief agencies are urging people to donate cash instead of food, clothing or household items, but Redenbaugh says the Iowa Jaycees called the Jaycee chapters in the hurricane-struck states to find out where they could ship goods from Iowa. “Through working with the Louisiana Jaycees and the Mississippi Jaycees, they’ve given us locations to deliver the items so we have solid shipping points that are secure for drivers to go into,” she says. “That was our other big concern is we don’t want to send drivers down to anyplace that they’re going to be unsafe.”
Over a dozen Jaycee volunteers were loading the semis this (Wednesday) morning at a dock outside the South Ridge Mall in Des Moines. (photo above) “A storm of people. That is correct,” she said. “That is absolutely correct.”
The goods will be shipped to Baton Rouge, Lafayette and Monroe, Louisiana. The Jaycees collected at least 10 semi-loads of bottled water. “It’ll be a great opportunity to help out our friends down south,” Redenbaugh says.