Why Gulfport and the USO teamed up to help Louisiana flooding victims

If there’s still a need, keep giving. That’s the view of the city and the United Services Organization.

Monday, the city partnered with the USO, Gulfport businesses, military and the fire department to send donations to the areas of Louisiana affected worst by flooding.

“I found out there was still a need, and helping military families is what we’re all about, so I contacted our national office and they approved us to do this,” USO Director Felice Gillum said.

It’s the second trip for the city in less than a month.

On Aug. 17, the city sent two truckloads of supplies immediately after the flood waters started to recede.

“We got a lot of help after Katrina,” Gulfport Chief Administrative Officer John Kelly said. “And this is a military community. So, we all work together when we can.”

Kelly said the National Guard Armory in Hammond set up a store specifically for military families. The supplies will be dropped off there. Military personnel and families from the surrounding area can come to shop.

Mississippi Power, Island View Casino, the National Guard, Keesler Air Force Base, Seabee Base in Gulfport, Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport donated Lowes, Home Depot and Wal-Mart gift cards, cleaning supplies, bedding and comforters, blankets and sheets, food, baby supplies, toiletries and bottled water.

Donations were taken to all five Gulfport fire stations and brought to the Central Station in downtown Gulfport for distribution.

John Fayard of John Fayard Moving donated his truck and an employee to help with the haul.

The USO is a nonprofit that operates two locations in Gulfport and annually provides programs and services to more than 60,000 service members and their families in Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana.

Justin Vicory: 228-896-2326, @justinvicory