Man volunteers to take City of Natchez’s donation to Texas

Published 12:07 am Tuesday, September 26, 2017

NATCHEZ — One man plans today to transport thousands of pounds of donations to victims of Hurricane Harvey.

Over the past few weeks, diapers, toilet paper, water and other non-perishable items have accumulated in the City Council Chambers building, and on Monday those items were loaded into a trailer for resident Paul Brown to transport.

Brown offered to transport the goods totally free of charge, Natchez-Adams Chamber of Commerce President Debbie Hudson said.

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This load marks the second that Brown has personally transported to Harvey victims using a trailer loaned to him, which he estimated could carry roughly 10,000 pounds of goods, but Brown said four or five loads total have been transported to Texas.

“As a whole, this community has really stepped up,” Brown said. “There has been two 18-wheeler loads of stuff (that) left Natchez; there’s been about four loads of trailers (the size of this one) that have gone.”

These specific donations were gathered through an effort conceived by Natchez Mayor Darryl Grennell and Hudson.

Adams County Sheriff’s Office mainly handled the actual loading of the donations.

“(Deputy) Terry Dunn and the Adams County Sheriff’s department — they have personally handled almost every box … that’s been loaded on these trailers,” Brown said.

Brown also plans to transport items gathered at Natchez Public Works, which tissue manufacturer von Drehle donated.

Von Drehle and Merit Health Natchez are among the biggest donors, along with other local businesses, church groups and individuals, Hudson said.

Brown said he is transporting the donations to Security First Baptist Church in Cleveland, Texas, approximately 50 minutes outside of Houston. Brown stressed the need to not overlook certain areas of the state outside of Houston that were also devastated by the storm.

“All of the focus is on Houston after the catastrophe, and other people are kind of just suffering,” Brown said. “The suburbs of Houston are kind of getting ignored,” Brown said. “There are a lot of people out there that aren’t getting any aid. What we’re doing is taking it directly to the churches, and the churches are distributing it to the communities where they know the need really is.”

Hudson applauded Brown for his selfless sacrifice to help transport the goods to those in need.

“When you ask (Brown) why he does it, it is ‘because they would do it for us,’” Hudson said. “I thought that was a great message.”

Grennell also showed up to meet Brown and even helped load goods onto the trailer.

“I’m just thankful for the people of Natchez for their generosity to help the victims of the hurricane,” Grennell said. “The items that were donated are going to a small community in Texas that had not received any assistance; therefore, these items are going to make a tremendous impact on people’s lives. One of Natchez’s greatest assets are her people.”

Grennell said the donations began with just a few items from himself and his administrative assistant, Temple Hendricks, but the collection quickly grew to over a thousand items.

“It reminds me of the story of Stone Soup.”

Others that Brown mentioned who participated in the cause include Trippe’s Western Auto, Calvary Baptist Church, BB’s Grill owner Leslie Floyd and Redneck Adventures owner Jimmy Allgood.