(KPLC) - For the last week, KPLC has been promoting our all-day food drive to benefit Abraham's Tent. The entire staff was excited. Although I'm new to town, this newsroom has always been a fan of Mrs. Pearl and the dedication she has to feeding anyone who wants a hot meal. We hoped when we started the food drive at 5 a.m., that people would come to donate. We wanted to be accessible to as many people at as many times of the day as possible. And we didn't really know what to expect.
Let me tell you that today's turnout far exceeded our expectations. We had school bus drivers stopping by before and after school to drop off canned goods. We had entire families who wanted to donate together. We had pets. We had one woman stop by who had recently undergone treatment for Stage 4 breast cancer. She wanted to drop off the food she couldn't eat.
One couple told us they had benefited from a KPLC Community Christmas event years before when they were going through hard times. They were down on their luck at that time and in need. Today, they popped open the trunk of their car and donated bag after bag of food and paper products for Abraham's Tent. They said they were paying it forward.
We had several people drive up and tell us they went to the store to buy groceries to donate, only to discover – there was no more rice left on the shelves. They believed the generous people of Lake Charles had gotten to it before them.
And I will say, the sponsor of our event, Nissan of Lake Charles, didn't just put a name on this project. They truly outdid themselves. When one truck filled up, they brought more. And Adam Stelly, the son of dealership owner John Stelly, hauled those boxes out of people's cars for hours right along with us.
Soon one truck was filled. Then another. Soon there were six full trucks. Bags and boxes of food were all over the parking lot. The food drive we thought would be great was suddenly one of the biggest I have ever witnessed.
Our goal was to pack Mrs. Pearl's tent with enough food to serve this city for a year. Did we reach that? I don't know that there's any way of knowing for sure. But I can tell you is that men, women, and children all over this city now have many more hot meals to eat. And that's all thanks to you.
So tonight, on this beautiful Friday evening, I say thank you. On behalf of the staff at KPLC, my boss, General Manager John Ware, and Abraham's Tent, thank you – from the bottom of our hearts.
For more about Pack the Tent, click HERE.