LUBBOCK, Texas – Retired Lubbock Fire Rescue Firefighter Gary Vaughn decided to collect items for survivors of the devastating tornadoes that hit the U.S. last week.
He sent out a message on Monday asking members of the community to donate items for the cause. The humble request was met with an overwhelming response.
“It’s been going crazy, that’s how it’s been going,” Vaughn said.
Vaughn said that over the past few days people have dropped off bags of necessities at fire stations all over town. They have already filled up two trailers, and are working on moving things into an 18-wheeler to drive up early next week.
Fellow retired firefighter, Don Mathre, heard what Vaughn was trying to do and immediately offered to help.
“You know, people lost everything. We’re so blessed,” Mathre said. “Whatever we can do to ease that pain. We do what we can.”
The storms took away so much, and left so little behind in the aftermath — an outcome even more devastating during what is normally such an uplifting time of year.
Vaughn said what they are doing is more than just providing people with essentials — they’re also trying to make sure many of these families have something on Christmas day.
“We got kids and grandkids, but they’re all old enough that we can do Christmas another day. These folks have nothing for Christmas,” Vaughn said. “So, let’s get toys up there for the kids. We’ve got puzzles, coloring books, crayons. I mean, lots of stuff for kids and moms are going to be very appreciative because those kids need to occupy that energy at times.”
They’ve almost received more than they can carry. They’re no longer asking for donations, but they do plan on buying more items once they arrive and learn more able what people still need.
For donations, you can find their GoFundMe here.