Cleveland woman gathering donations to help Louisiana flood victims
She started collecting donations on Monday to help family members, friends, and anyone else impacted.
A Cleveland woman is doing what Tennesseans have done for years; volunteering to help others.
Carissa Theriot has family members and close friends who live in Denham Springs, LA, which was affected by the recent flooding.
"Those are your loved ones out there hanging on roof tops and have lost their home, everything," Carissa Theriot of Cleveland said.
Theriot started collecting donations on Monday to help family members, friends, and anyone else impacted.
She described the situation in Louisiana as chaotic. She told Channel 3 her mother-in-law experienced the flooding firsthand.
"She opened her back door at 4 o'clock in the morning. Water just was gushing in. It was coming in through the bottom air vents. It was coming in behind her dresser. They literally had about 10 minutes," Theriot said.
Theriot has collected donations like clothes, personal items, food, and water from friends in Cleveland and at least one local business in Chattanooga.
"Everybody up here knows somebody that has a connection to Louisiana. We're just that close. I knew it was time to do something," Sandra Miller of Mystic Modes said.
Miller is lending her business as a donation center.
"I think it's our job to look after our neighbors. If we can't look after our neighbors and help our neighbors, then we're not much of a human being. I think it's everybody's duty to do that to look out after each other. That's the way it should be," Miller said.
As Theriot prepares for her trip to Louisiana, she's looking forward to what she can do to help.
"I just hope that it can give them the hope that they can rebuild, get their lives back on track and let them know there are good people out there," Theriot said.
Eleven people have died in the flooding. Some 40,000 homes have been damaged and nearly 30,000 people have been rescued in what Louisiana officials are calling the worst flooding to ever hit the state.
She's accepting donations up until Thursday night and will leave Friday morning to take the donations to Louisiana.
Some of the items they're in need of include water, personal items and baby items. If you'd like to help and donate, you can contact Theriot on Facebook: