Over the last few weeks, a few friends came together for a simple, but great, cause for the people in south Texas. When everyone had the chance to sit down together, we all had the same vision. We just wanted to help people in need. A post made by Kevin Jones would ignite friends to comes together once again, but also give some of us chance to make new friends.
None of us had the money to pull off such a donation drive so we kept it simple, find one semi trailer and fill it as much as we could. Little did we know, we were about to embark on one of the biggest donation drives we have ever seen in Wilson County outside of any nonprofit organization.
I made several phone calls to local businesses to see if anyone could provide their parking lot for this donation drive. Everyone said no. After several phone calls, I remembered a store that just might help. Bargain Hunt received a telephone call, asking to use there lot and was granted the opportunity to do so.
From that point, the ball started to roll into what would eventually be the Tennessee for Texas donation.
William Shipper was gracious enough to donate one of his trailers for our donation drive, and this made our dreams become possible to helping those in south Texas even more of a reality.
More phone calls were made to find a driver for this trailer we wanted to fill. Kevin Jones reached out to Kirby and asked if he would volunteer his time and rig to pull this trailer. Without hesitation, Kirby and his wife were on board.
The group that had a helping hand in this donation drive included Kevin Jones, Haley Faughn, Jennifer Roddy, Jennifer Box, Jay Stubblefield, Chris Carter, Walter Kent Jr., Sarah Crafton, Brittney Calderon, Rachel Colson, Kirby Varney, Laura Brandon and myself.
The following are businesses that had a helping hand contributing donations or helping in other areas for the Hurricane Harvey victims during our donation drive:
Rusty Pepper Farms, Rachel’s Signs and Designs, Advanced Auto Parts, Southern Institute of Firearms Training, O’Reilly Auto Parts, El Corral Mexican Restaurant in Gordonsville, H&P Farms, Cantrell Farms, Shipper Transport, Abundant Harvest Worship Center, Stroud’s Barbecue, Treasured Junk, Metro Carpets, Sunbelt Insurance in Chattanooga. Bargain Hunt in Lebanon, Advance Auto Parts, Logo Brands, Papa Johns, O’Reilly Auto Parts, Domino’s Pizza, Union Heights School, Statesville Market and Dollar General Stores.
We would also like to thank the city of Lebanon, Lebanon Police Department and the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office. It was truly amazing to see the local law enforcement get behind us and our efforts to not only keep us safe at night, but also to add extra patrols to ensure two donation trailers were safe.
Our biggest thank you goes to the public. Truly, if it weren’t for the citizens of Wilson County and surrounding areas, none of what we have done would have been possible. You entrusted us to make good on our promises to help the victims in south Texas. We were reminded that you had faith in us as we had faith in you to help others in need. In a world in a much different place, a feeling or a sense of humanity was put before all differences to help the common good of everyday people.
Looking back, I often wondered if we ever find ourselves in this position again, could we count on friends, strangers, law enforcement, etc. to stand with us?
I would like to think so. I would like to think we can continue to make a difference, to give people hope and to inspire something greater than us.
We never wish for disasters to ever strike, but if and when they do, this crew is ready and willing to up hold the Tennessee nickname, the Volunteer State, once more.
All we ever wanted was to help people. A random act of kindness is all it took, and it changed the lives of thousands. We want to give people better days ahead with knowing a brighter future is right around the corner.
On behalf of Tennessee for Texas, we thank everyone involved.