LEXINGTON, Ky. — Father Jim Sichko is handing out donations to Hurricane Laura victims along the Gulf Coast. The papal Missionary of Mercy, along with several volunteers, loaded up a truck with essential supplies, such as water, diapers, food supplies, and more over the weekend.
Sichko said a lot of his friends in Texas and Louisiana were in the path of the Category 4 storm, including hard-hit areas like Lake Charles and Sichko's hometown of Orange, Texas. He is focusing on those two areas during his trip.
"It's not going to take months; it's going to take years for these people to rebound," Sichko said in a Zoom interview with LEX 18 Monday.
In all, he said he brought about $25,000 in goods and $10,000 in gift cards down to the Gulf Coast.
One of the recipients of the gift cards was a mother of six, Ashley Augustine. He found her and two of her children on the side of the road in the Lake Charles area. They were cleaning up glass that was torn from the windows of a nearby building during the storm.
While they were out volunteering to help the community, back at home, their house needs repairs, including a new rood. She said insurance won't cover it, so she will use the gift cards to help pay for the repairs.
"I just hope that it gives them a temporary sense of pleasure and a sense that they know that they're not forgotten and that people all across the US are caring for them and are with them in this," Sichko said about all of the victims receiving donations.
Sichko plans to distribute more items on Tuesday. You can donate to his cause here.