Hurricane Victims Helped In Gregg County

As thousands of displaced Louisiana natives are waiting and trying to "regroup" in East Texas, their plight has captured the hearts of people who want to ease their suffering.

"There's nothing, we live East of New Orleans.  Everything all the way over to Gulfport is completely wiped out. Everything I've had all my life, it's gone," said New Orleans evacuee Tonya Hopkins.

But in the midst of their suffering, the good hearts of people in Gregg County have tried to offer them comfort by donating tons of food clothing and daily necessities at Maude Cobb Convention Center.

"I just wanted to help the kids and this could very easily have been us, and it's hard to have kids and not have anything for them to do," said Sissy Wright, who donated toys and cookies to the hurricane victims' children.

"It hurt us bad cause I got relatives down in Louisiana, Baton Rouge, Natchitoches. I tried to call them (and) didn't get an answer," said Longview donator Phillip Moses.

They come with clothes,  food, water, bedding, toys and their caring has been appreciated. The emotion of the day is high, even national guardsmen stationed here were brought to tears when a bus full of handicapped children came and donated their toys to the children here.

"I wanted to cry, these children brought their toys for those children who had nothing, nothing," said Algiers, Louisiana native Connie Fachenda.

Many have been so touched by the generosity, they've made a life decision.

"We've decided to relocate and stay here, that way I won't have to get back up, I'll stay standing and maybe help someone else next time," said New Orleans evacuee Steven Hopkins.

"Things really are bigger in Texas and it starts with their hearts," said one hurricane victim.

Bob Hallmark, reporting.