Southern Ill. town collects donations for Louisiana town affected by Hurricane Ida
MARION, Ill. (KFVS) - It’s been nearly four decades since a massive weather event devastated Marion, Illinois.
Now, residents and businesses are lending a hand to a Louisiana town facing the same challenge.
“Lots of people helped us back in ‘82 when we had the tornado, so I know every little bit helps,” said Marion resident Rick Reichert.
Reichert remembered when a massive twister ripped through his town nearly 40 years ago.
Now, he is paying it forward, helping those affected by Hurricane Ida in St. Charles Parish, Louisiana.
“I was bringing in water, cups, plates, towels that kind of stuff.”
Mayor Mike Absher was just 11 years old when the tornado hit.
“I was not wearing shoes when the tornado hit and when we crawled out of our basement I didn’t own a pair of shoes, and I remember what that’s like,” he explained.
“We received all kinds of help, not just from local towns but near and far. And so this is kind of a way even though 40 years in the making it allows us to kind of pay it forward,” said Absher
Now, residents and businesses are collecting donations to send to the bayou, including Black Diamond Harley Davidson.
“It’s been great we’ve had a ton of people have been bringing in a lot of supplies. They want food that does not have to be cooked. They’re looking for water, for trash bags, tents, kids diapers, things like that’s what they’re really looking for,” said owner Shad Zimbro.
Zimbro said helping others is what southern Illinois does best.
“When people are in need, it seems like they all stick together and really try and help out and do whatever we can to help the other communities out,” said Zimbro.
Once the trailer’s loaded, volunteers will hit the road, bringing relief to a devastated community, sent from a town that knows what it’s like to recover.
Zimbro said multiple businesses in Marion have helped execute this plan.
“So we got ahold of Aldridge Trucking, and asked him if he would use our truck and drive all this stuff down there. And he was happy to do it. McBride Mack really helped us out, Best One Tires here in Marion really helped out so we’ve had a lot of different businesses here in Marion helping us get stuff ready for it,” he explained.
The final day to donate this Friday. Donation times run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Marion High School football players will be loading the donations from multiple sites and bringing them out to the Black Diamond Trailer this Saturday.
The Hub, Marion Civic Center and Black Diamond Harley are the multiple sites to drop off donations.
A full list of what is needed to be donated can be found on the City of Marion’s Facebook Page.
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