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Salvation Army to aid flood victims

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Nashville auto dealer Gary Dan Futrell, far right, talks about the local response to disastrous flooding in south Louisiana. He's surrounded by donors and Salvation Army board members.

By Louie Graves
News-Leader staff

He got emotional when recalling the events of the May 2015 tornado which ripped through his neighborhood, and how the community came together to help storm victims resume their lives.

The speaker was Nashville auto dealer Gary Dan Futrell who is heading up the Salvation Army kickoff for Howard County’s aid to flood-stricken Louisiana.

“This is our chance to bring hope to the people of Louisiana,” he said, surrounded by supporters and members of the local Salvation Army governing board.

Futrell also said that he and his wife Donna, and the employees of York Gary Autoplex would pledge a $5,000 cash donation.

In the auto dealership showroom were some items already donated to the cause; like, 20 cases of bottled water from the prosecuting attorney; 5,000 mops from JW Manufacturing in Mineral Springs; chainsaws and blowers from Husqvarna.

Local Salvation Army president Theresa Jones said that the organization had been here for 10 years, and that this kind of local response “has been my experience.”

Drinking water and other items for Louisiana residents affected by the disastrous flood is being collected by the Salvation Army chapter. Futrell said that the Salvation Army preferred new and packaged items.

According to local Salvation Army president Jones, by noon Monday a number of local businesses and individuals had already given support and donations.

“We are now asking Howard County residents to donate drinking water, gallon bottles of bleach, mops and all types of gloves,” Jones said in a news release. “All donations will be transported to Louisiana at the end of the donation drive.” She did not set an end date for the collections, and said she hoped that the items could be taken directly to Baton Rouge.

Early donors include York Gary Autoplex, JW Manufacturing, Prosecuting Attorney Bryan Chesshir, Cash Saver grocery store, and Nashville Police Chief Dale Pierce.

Drop-off locations include: Diamond Bank in Mineral Springs; York Gary Autoplex, Nashville Community Church, Nashville Police Department, Dierks City Hall and Howard County Sheriff’s Office.

The Louisiana flood has been called the worst disaster since Hurricane Sandy, and thousands of residents in the Baton Rouge area have lost everything they own. More than 110,000 homes have been damaged, and 50,000 displaced residents will depend upon organizations such as the Salvation Army for food and shelter. Damage has been placed at about $20.7 billion.

To contact Jones, call 845-3009, or 557-0430.

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