Truckee’s sister city isn’t forgotten
For about a dozen high school students in Truckee, spring break this year will be vastly different than any other.
That’s because those students from Truckee High and Sierra High are preparing to do some heavy lifting rather than lounging on a beach somewhere. The students and their adult guides are heading to Bayou Le Batre, Ala., the Town of Truckee’s sister city on the Gulf Coast.
More than six months after Hurricane Katrina virtually wiped out Bayou Le Batre, Truckee hasn’t forgotten the tiny Gulf Coast town. Between Jane Loomis, Margie Meyer and Nate Farnell, the youth pastor at Tahoe Forest Church, and Truckee’s always involved service clubs, four adults and their 11 student charges are flying down to Bayou Le Batre to help the town rebuild.
Farnell, who stopped in Bayou Le Batre in January, said every house in the town took on water from a huge ocean surge during the hurricane.
“There are still shrimp boats sitting in the middle of the woods,” Farnell said.
The main focus of the expedition, however, will be to help homeowners ” most of whom were uninsured ” clean up and reconstruct.
Continuing their unrelenting effort to help Bayou Le Batre are Loomis, Meyer and the students at Sierra High School. They are seeking a variety of large and small donations that can be used in the reconstruction effort, from brooms, mops and disinfectant to power tools.
But before any of that can be used, the volunteers need to get to Bayou Le Batre. In order for that to happen, the Truckee Optimists and Rotary Club have kicked in airfare for a few of the volunteers. And, according to Meyers, Ed Herron and Travis Pribble have also donated $400 each for travel expenses.
Meanwhile, the donations that have been coming in over the past months, including $4,000, have gone to pay for propane for the FEMA trailers brought into house the hurricane homeless of Bayou Le Batre.
As for the spring break trip, Farnell said he’s getting more and more volunteer requests.
“It’s actually been a fairly huge response so far,” he said. “I wasn’t expecting it.”
For information on how to donate supplies, contact Margie Meyer at 582-2640 or Nate Farnell at 587-7725.
Meyer suggests the following:
Sponges (6-8 count pkgs.)
Scrub brushes (various sizes)
Towels (reuseable terricloth shop towels or wash cloths)
Liquid laundry detergent
Household cleaners (anti-bacterial spray disinfectants)
Soap (anti-bacterial bar soaps or liquid soap)
Clothes line (pkg s. of 50′ -100′)
Heavy duty trash bags
Air freshners (with protective cap)
Sanitizing hand gel
Brooms (Indoor and outdoor heavy duty push brooms)
And if anyone in the community has freight and shipping connections and could donate shipping costs, contact Loomis or Meyer at Sierra High.
People interested in donating money to Bayou Le Batre should make checks payable to the Truckee Tahoe Community Foundation and write “Sister City Katrina Fund” on the memo line of the check. They can be mailed to TTCF, P.O. Box 366 Truckee, Ca 96160.
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