Pamplin Man Travels Hours to Aid Hurricane Harvey Victims

   Written by on September 28, 2017 at 11:05 am

By Crystal Vandegrift, Staff Writer

houston1PAMPLIN – While most of us were watching the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in Texas on television, one resident took it upon himself to lead a helping hand.

Chris Smith of Pamplin took off in his van, driving over 20 hours to deliver supplies and funds.

According to Smith, who is an owner-operator with Allied Moving Company based in Richmond, several of his employees and family members wanted to help in the efforts as well. Cam Smith, Chris’s son, along with both of his nieces, Tiffany and Timara Smith, and employees, Ciera Bass and Brandon Walthall, all accompanied Smith on his journey.

“We went to Texas on the spur of the moment,” said Smith, noting that he saw on television just how bad the situation in Texas was. “The news showed how bad it was and I wanted to go to help the animals.”

One of Smiths employees suggested that in addition to supplies for animals there may be a need for diapers as well. Upon researching, Smith and his employees learned there was such a need. “We donated a pallet and a half of diapers (which were valued at thousands of dollars) to the Brown Center in Texas, and we helped unload a couple of tractor trailers of cots. I’m assuming they were sent from the Army, because they were green and looked like military cots, and we took 40 huge bags of dog food to the NRG center,” he added.

While in Texas, Smith said it hit him how much people were hurting when his son asked to buy groceries for a lady in the local Walmart. “My son wanted to purchase a woman’s groceries in Walmart because she looked like she could use the help. She cried and said thank you… So that made me realize how much people were struggling for day-to- day supplies while they waited for FEMA help, so we started handing out money to strangers.”

Smith went on to add that most of the people he encountered thought he had been sent to the area to help by a church when in fact, he and his crew financed the entire trip with their funds. “Most assumed we were sent by a church and were shocked to find out we were completely funding this trip with our savings.”

Although Smith did not want to disclose some funds that he and his crew spent during the five days they were in Texas he did add that even though it was expensive, it was a worthwhile cause.

“I couldn’t be prouder of my two nieces, my son, and two of my employees because we all made the long ride and were eager to help…The trip couldn’t have been more worthwhile. I’d do it over in a second,” he added. “On the way home, my son looked at me and said, ‘We might be coming home broke, but we’re not broken.’ I will always remember that phrase.”

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