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WNC volunteers send supplies, relief to Louisiana

Hearts with Hands is running a donation drive to gather supplies to send down to help the growing number of flooding victims in the Baton Rouge area. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

SWANNANOA, N.C. -- Volunteers packed hundreds of boxes bound for Louisiana with food, diapers, socks and toothbrushes at a warehouse in Buncombe County.

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"We sent a 50-foot trailer, and it was filled with food boxes, water, hygiene kits, baby kits, cleaning kits - all of those things - for the first delivery [Sunday]," Hearts with Hands President Dr. Greg Lentz said on Tuesday. "What was so unreal, when we ended up in Eunice, Louisiana, we were escorted in by the U.S. Marshal service ... and by the time they unloaded all of the supplies ...they had already distributed that entire tractor trailer in less than an hour."

The non-profit's first tractor-trailer arrived in the flood-stricken city with a population of about 10,000 on Monday. "You can imagine the devastation that a lot of these folks are facing," Lentz said.

Hearts with Hands is running a donation drive to gather supplies to send down to help the growing number of flooding victims in the Baton Rouge area.

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On Tuesday, about 20 volunteers from local churches gathered at a nondescript warehouse at 850 Warren Wilson Road in Swannanoa to pack boxes that will be loaded on the next truck headed south.

"When we went up to the West Virginia floods, I realized the devastation and knew that no matter how busy my life is, that there were people that their lives were just turned upside down - and I had to come help," Donna Rhew said, who helped Hearts with Hands supply flood victims earlier this summer. "We had one little gentleman the first day in his seventies come up just bawling. He said 'I watched everything I owned go down the river.' So, I feel like this is the least that I can do."

Donations can be dropped off at the warehouse at 850 Warren Wilson Road. Hearts with Hands is also asking for cash donations.

Visit their website to see a list of items needed or to find out how to give.

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