Lufkin business organizes toy drive for Louisiana hurricane survivors

Lufkin business organizes toy drive for Louisiana hurricane survivors
The American Red Cross is providing emergency financial assistance for continuing recovery efforts after Hurricane Laura.

LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - Many Louisiana residents are still picking up the pieces left behind from Hurricane Laura two months ago, on top of the named storms that have hit since.

Local Deep East Texas businesses are seeking your help to make sure children in the areas hit hardest have toys for Christmas.

“Most of us have family there or we have a friend there,” Bill’s Shoe Repair co-owner Heather Fernandez said. “We’ve watched video on Facebook, where some of these parents are talking about, they had a house and now they are explaining to their kids, we don’t have a house anymore.” “I’ve had so many customers come in and say it’s like a bomb went off,” Huval’s Boot and Shoe Repair owner Dana Huval said. “It’s the worst thing I’ve ever seen.”

Southwest Louisiana and the Lake Charles area were hammered this hurricane season.

“There’s just be clobbered over there,” Heather Fernandez said. “Then, you got the virus and all these other things, and it’s like nobody talks about them anymore because there’s so much going on.”

While making a Christmas list, Heather Fernandez talked to her husband John about seeking donations for children in the Lake Charles area to make sure they have a gift for Christmas.

“There’s grownups over there and then there’s these little kids,” she said. “Santa not coming is not an option. That’s something that happens no matter how bad things are.” Can you imagine being a parent on Christmas morning not being about to get your kids a gift," John Fernandez said. “We just want to bring some smiles to kids' faces and a little relief for the parents going through a financial burden.”

The Fernandez family reached out to another shoe repair owner Dana Huval in Crowley, Louisiana, who contacted several organizations in that town and about 50 miles west in Lake Charles to help get toys for children there.

“We certainly appreciate for everything they do for us because you have to help each other,” Hueval said. “If you don’t help each other, then you’re in a world of trouble.” “The more people who come out and join with us, you know, when you wake up on Christmas morning you’ll get to think about, while you’re watching your kids get to open their presents, there’s a kid out there opening up a present you provided,” John Hernandez said.

If you have a toy you’d like to donate, you can drop it off at Bill’s Shoe Repair or the Lazy Daisy Flower and Gift Shop in Kirbyville. They are asking for new toys for boys and girls primarily under the age of 12.

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