Wayne and Chantielle Johnston, a husband and wife living in Vancouver, solicited contributions from fellow students, friends, neighbors, local businesses and churches to fill a Ryder truck, which Chantielle then drove to Houston with the help of two friends, Phil Hart and Aaron Roiter.
The total value of donations was estimated to be $60,000 or more, according to Chantielle Johnston.
“It was awesome to give people the opportunity to help in a hands-on way,” she said. “They loved the idea of being able to give items directly to the people in need, instead of just writing a check. We had lines of cars waiting to pull up to the truck and drop off donations. We couldn’t take donations fast enough.”
Some donors wrote goodwill messages on their care packages to
“One person took a marker and wrote ‘
Among the most enthusiastic givers were
“One of the primary goals of many WSU Vancouver faculty members is to encourage students to become community activists and leaders, or what has been termed ‘public intellectuals.’ It used to be that I knew
The truck departed from
Chantielle said that she will always treasure the spirit of friendship that arose between the people in the Northwest and the survivors of Katrina.
“We can’t allow geography to limit who we consider our neighbors,” she said.