Local family helping out Hurricane Laura survivors

Bay County

BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — The devastation left behind by Hurricane Laura is an all too familiar sight for people in the Panhandle. That’s why a local family is stepping up to provide relief to those affected by the storm.

Cal Chester, a Bay County native, and his family have been collecting items to bring to Hurricane Laura survivors that need it most. The first trip to Louisiana took place last week.

“We have the ability to help so why not,” said Cal Chester, a Panama City Beach resident.

Now with nearly 140 people donating to their cause, another trip is in the works to smaller towns near Lake Charles.

“I have three small towns I’m going to this time, I’m going to hit Plainview first, and there’s two small parishes on the outside of them that I don’t think FEMA has gotten to yet,” said Chester.

Trailers and a car full of supplies have been packed full of waters, food, batteries, tarps, and gas.

But one thing they’re bringing is something money can’t buy. Optimism.

“Just having a smile, just being a random person that shows up and having that energy and a smile on your face. You don’t know how much it means to them,” said Chester.

Their plan is not just to bring supplies to these hurricane victims, but also to bring a sense of experience.

One thing Chester says that he remembers from Hurricane Michael is that many out-of-towners showed up to help.

“And you had just strangers show up that you didn’t know helping out, so it felt right, it felt like I had to pay it forward-ish,” said Chester.

The trip it total should last around three days.

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