Nexus Distribution ships relief materials to Mississippi Hurricane Katrina Victims.
Nexus donated equipment, driver compensation and fuel in order to deliver a second shipment of relief materials to hurricane victims at Zion Chapel in Natches, Mississippi. Allentown’s Joe Moffitt took the lead in coordinating this effort with a local Emmaus resident named Bruce Carl. Carl is an ordinary citizen who felt the need to get involved and coordinated his own collection effort. He dubbed the relief effort “Food from the Heart”. Carl independently reached out to Nexus, Rodale Inc., Weis Market, and FEMA to put a plan in place. He worked with local churches and the Emmaus Fire Department to create drop-off locations and pool donations over a two week period.
Steve Emert was the Nexus driver for the Mississippi shipment. Emert said that he would have made the 1250-mile journey voluntarily even without compensation because he felt it was the right thing to do. Before he set off for the destination, Emert shared, “I’m looking forward to unloading. I think they’ll be happy...I know I would be.” As it turned out, Emert assisted with unloading much of the truck by himself, as one-third of the trailer had to be unloaded by hand, pallets and all, in 95-degree heat.
“When I got there, the first thing that happened was that a lady came over and gave me a really big hug, and that was nice,” Emert recalled. “They were really happy that we were there to help. It was quite an experience. You could tell that people were living in their cars. Especially with pick-up trucks; you could see all of the bottles of water and clothes they had packed in there. You saw a whole lot of people just driving around not knowing where to go. The hotels were packed with people and there was no electricity. It seemed like people were driving around in confusion, and then from time to time they would pull over to the side of the road and talk to each other about their experience and try to figure out what to do next.”
The first Nexus relief shipment was delivered to the Houston Astro Dome on September 11, 2005. Nexus partnered with a local Chicago-based charity, Share Your Soles, to ship donations collected by local residents to the victims taking refuge in Houston, TX. Share Your Soles is an organization that collects and distributes shoes to children worldwide, and Nexus donates services to this cause on a regular basis. Share Your Soles was successful in holding a weekend drive at its main warehouse in Alsip, IL, collecting enough donations to fill a 53-foot trailer by September 8, 2005.
Nexus driver Butch Braule delivered the donations to the Houston Astro Dome on September 11, 2005. “The Nexus truck and driver were outstanding. Butch not only pulled the load, he assisted us all day long,” explained Mona Purdy, founder of Share Your Soles. “We were grateful that he was with us. He was one of the most helpful and thoughtful individuals there. It was great to see him unloading and helping the kids find shoes and put them on. He has a big heart.”
In addition to the NE Transportation team, many people were dedicated to the effort across Nexus. Team members at all facilities pooled donations on short notice and collectively added a total of 3 skids of donated goods to the Mississippi truckload. Warehouse Business Managers helped pool donations at each site. Moffit explained, “I am (just) one helping another…Helping out is what it’s all about.”