Local group accepts donations for Louisiana flooding victims

Published 10:31 am Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Not even rain could stop the gathering of people in a rain-slick parking lot on a dreary Tuesday afternoon in Port Arthur.

Local and newly formed group, Ladies With Class (LWC), are holding a two-day donation collection for families and individuals affected by the flooding in Louisiana.

Today is the last day. They will be taking the collection from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. today at the Jefferson City Shopping Center between EZ Pawn and Burger King.

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They were stationed underneath pink pop-up tents that matched the color of their group T-shirts and some of their neon-colored signs that they waved around at passing motorists.

LWC came together to raise physical good donations like soap, toothpaste, deodorant, water, and toilet paper for Louisiana victims.

“I’m from Louisiana and I know what is going on there. I know the feeling,” said Alicia Molo, president and founder of Ladies With Class.

Molo, who has friends and family in the affected state, told how she was using online media like Facebook to check in on the status of her loved ones.

“I check their Facebook to see if they’re posting daily and how they’re doing,” Molo said. And yes, her family and friends are posting daily; so, they appeared to be okay.

But for Molo, the drive to help Louisiana goes beyond personal interest.

“With Ladies With Class, we’re showing young ladies how to give back to the community. We’re hoping that the community comes out to support our efforts and to give back.”

LWC started with the goal of providing young women in the community with opportunities like access to mentors, scholarship assistance, college preparation, and general moral support.

“I have a daughter who I’m always doing something with, her and her friends,” Molo said. “ One day, she asked, ‘Mom, why don’t you do something with us and our group?’”

Molo hoped that everyone “comes together as a community to give back to their neighboring state.

“There really is no set goal [with the drive]. We just want to represent Ladies With Class and show Louisiana that we care in Southeast Texas, and that our prayers are with them.”

For Amber Owens, treasurer of LWC, those sentiments seem to be shared.

“It means a lot because in a time of need we come together and give regardless of the situation.”

Owens felt that giving was important and that “being here is a path to give what they want to Louisiana.” She hoped that the fundraiser would garner a lot of goods and supplies for those affected by the floods.

“We need something positive because there’s so much negativity going on in the world,” Owens said.

Fortunately, the donation drive appeared to start off strong as one group of donators donated 84 packs of bottled water for the relief efforts in Louisiana.

Paul Jackson and other members of the Thomas Jefferson Class of ’83 pooled their resources together to make the sizeable donation a reality.

“I saw the flyer on Facebook and it touched my heart,” Jackson said. “I communicated with my class when I saw it and before I knew donations were coming in.”

Jackson and the rest of the class had originally intended to purchase 83 bottles in honor of their graduating year, but later settled on 84 when they found out bottled water packages came 84 to a pallet.

“Water is going to bring the gift of life,” Jackson said. “We want to let them know that we love them and show them a small token of our love.”