Harvey, La. - A former Saint is doing his part to help tornado victims in Oklahoma...with a little help from the Pelicans. John Fourcade has collected blankets and clothes, even diapers...anything that people in that state may need after devastating tornadoes touched down in the town of Moore and then in El Reno, destroying homes, and taking lives.
Fourcade is a long way from the football field where he spent three years as quarterback for the New Orleans Saints. On this Sunday, Fourcade loads up a 26-foot long trailer that he'll drive to Oklahoma Tuesday. "We've got from clothes to baby supplies to house cleaning supplies, just anything that we can donate that's worthwhile," Fourcade explains.
The former football player and his friend Steve Daigle, along with former Hornet David Wesley and his wife, and Kim Kelly, the wife of the Pelicans radio play by play announcer, came up with the idea to collect donations for residents in Oklahoma after hearing of the devastation. The Hornets were moved to Oklahoma City in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. They say word quickly spread through the community about their efforts.
"I went to Slidell, I went to Mandeville, Covington, I was in Metairie, I was in Elmwood so we went all over with people wanting to donate," says Fourcade.
Steve Daigle adds, "The outpouring was…it was fantastic, it was dramatic. Our warehouses have been full twice."
This is actually the second trip this group is making to Oklahoma. Just 10 days after the first tornado hit Moore, this group brought up three trailers worth of goods to displaced residents.
Fourcade snapped photos of the damage in Moore and explains, "I went and talked to people and they said, there's my house right there. It's just a pile of junk and its embarrassing. I would say junk, just a pile of trash and debris. It makes you cry. We had police officers with an escort last time and these grown men and myself, we're sitting there and you can see tears in our eyes for the fact that these people were out of homes."
Fourcade and Daigle say this mission is so important because of the help this area received after Hurricane Katrina. They say they just want to return the favor. But, they can't take all the credit. After all, lots of people donated to the cause. "I think people from here in Southern Louisiana just have it in their blood to reach out and help others," said Daigle.