Eddie Vaughn said after hearing from a friend that a group would be going to Louisville to help those in need he knew he had to go.
"Myself, Craig Verhage, Edward Kossman, Jay Burchfield, Mike Mathews, David Griffith, Judson Brown, John Armstrong, and Danny Lyons will leave Friday afternoon and comeback sometime on Sunday. We're taking bottled water, Gatorade, hygiene products like GermX, toothbrushes, toilet paper, and toothpaste to give out," said Vaughn.
Vaughn said after posting information about the plan on Facebook, many people in Cleveland reached out to him and offered to help.
"I put a post on Facebook and through that and word of mouth Cleveland residents have taken to us and been fabulous. I couldn’t be more proud of my hometown because Cleveland always pulls together and steps up to the plate when someone needs something," he said.
Vaughn said the group plans to cook supper on Friday night and lunch on Saturday.
"It'll be hamburgers, hotdogs, and French fries. We're going to set up in a friend's house on the edge of the neighborhood that got hit pretty hard. Saturday night we're going to serve a bunch of barbeque ribs and pulled pork, beef brisket — we just want to give them a little bit of comfort. They shouldn’t have to worry about fixing meals a few times while their trying to put their lives back together and clean up," he said.
Vaughn said he's glad the group has decided to do this.
"I couldn't think of anything better to do. I think it's a wonderful thing," he said.
Vaughn said he has no family in Louisville but has made several connections to the town through friendships made at Delta State.
"William Smith grew up here in Cleveland. His house was hit but he's lucky and it's still standing. We've also met a bunch of people from Louisville that go to Delta State or did and they are really good people. We want to help them out. We're going to pitch a tent and get to cooking, whatever else they need us to do we'll pitch in and be glad to help," said Vaughn.
Cleveland Church of God is also accepting donations for tornado victims and will deliver the items Saturday to the First Baptist Church in Louisville.
Items needed are blankets, socks, pillows, T-shirts of all sizes, water, Gatorade, chips, diapers of all sizes, diaper wipes, deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste, hair brushes, work and disposable gloves, canned goods, and clothes and shoes of all sizes for men and women.
Items can be dropped off at the Cleveland Church of God MAC Center on Miss. Highway 8 East on Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information call 662-285-8912.
With a coordinated effort from faculty, staff and students, Delta State will also be providing relief items to Louisville. The drop-off site for donations is the Forrest Wyatt Gymnasium from Thursday-Monday, with Todd Davis as the point of contact (662-846-4570).
The Delta State Staff Council is seeking volunteers to help sort, pack and load items Tuesday at 9 a.m. Please contact Suzanne Simpson at 662-846-4051 to sign up.