Thursday afternoon, a second load of hurricane Sandy relief supplies will be loaded onto rail cars at the Amtrak station in New Orleans and prepared to make the trip to New Jersey. This will be the second shipment organized by a program called The Train of Hope.
Slidell firefighters and other volunteers will help unload the supplies and holiday toys from delivery trucks, put them on pallets, and load them into two baggage cars. Organizers are calling the group’s second trip the Train of Hope for the Holidays.
The donations were collected from 40 drop-off locations on both sides of the lake as well as the Lafayette area. The group says online donations came from all 50 states and included help from a Chicago-area Boy Scout troop and soldiers stationed in Japan and Afghanistan.
The Train of Hope project was started by Donna O’Daniels, the CEO and president of the St. Tammany Parish Tourist Commission, and Kim Bergeron, the Director of Cultural and Public Affairs for the city of Slidell. The group’s first shipment of blankets, diapers, pet food, batteries, and other supplies left New Orleans in November.
The second shipment of supplies and holiday gifts will leave the New Orleans Amtrak station on Friday. The group’s founders will accompany the shipment and oversee its distribution.