Arabie Trucking organized 'Lagniappe from the Bayou' to send aid to storm victims in New York state. You can use this link to view their Facebook page for drop-off locations and more information.more>>
Thibodaux, La. - The trailers are cavernous, but by this time next week, workers at Arabie Trucking hope to have at least two of their biggest trucks stacked with supplies.
The Thibodaux company started a collection drive after Hurricane Sandy pummeled New England.
What began as a small project among coworkers quickly grew.
"Our plan is, we have two trucks right now, 53-foot van trailers that we're gonna try to stack full of groceries and dry goods and kitty food, dog food, those type of things that we need after a hurricane," says shop foreman Trey Ledbetter. "Blankets, batteries, they're dealing with a unique problem up there where it's so cold, not just the regular hurricane elements that we deal with."
The company teamed up with Lafourche Parish for the Lagniappe from the Bayou campaign -- a little something extra for those still suffering from the storm.
Organizers chose a town in desperate need of help, Amityville, New York. The village on Long Island suffered extensive flooding and wind damage from Sandy.
"It's just a heartbreak to see what's happening there and see how much pain they are in and knowing here what everybody went through and knowing that pain," says Lafourche Parish Public Information Officer Lorelai Gilliam.
Workers at Arabie Trucking say they had to do something to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy because they know all too well what it's like. The company suffered severe damage during Hurricane Gustav and Dea Arabie's home fared even worse.
"I personally lost my house for five months," she says. "Just purchased it. I had to re-gut the entire thing. Lived in an RV. I didn't really have a home and I know the feeling that people go through when they feel displaced and the stress and everything that comes with that."
There are more than 30 drop-off sites for donations from Lafayette to New Orleans and the company is prepared to send more trucks if needed.
Ledbetter says sometimes it's the smallest gift after the storm that makes the biggest difference. That's what he remembers.
"Besides all the regular things that people are giving like the toilet paper and water, we really enjoyed the moon pies," he says. "Being a fat kid, I really enjoyed those."
Soon a taste of Louisiana will be headed north, from those who suffered so many times to those now in need.
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