HOUSTON — Richard and Dawn Abram sifted through plastic grocery bags filled with bottles of body wash, baby wipes, toothpaste and more, piling up in front of their Kingwood garage.
He and his wife sorted the various toiletries, coloring books, and pairs of shoes into white plastic laundry hampers, ready to be delivered.
He posted in his Facebook group, Kingwood Kindness, asking for donations to bring to southwest Louisiana, where Category 4 Hurricane Laura slammed on Thursday, leveling trees, ripping off roofs, and shattering glass windows.
The couple is one family collecting donations to deliver to Hurricane Laura victims.
Larissa Powell and her family loaded a pickup truck full of tarps, diapers, bottled water, and more to deliver to Orange, Texas, the town just outside the Louisiana border, which also felt Laura's wrath.
“Our hearts are hurting for our neighbors," said Powell, whose home flooded in Tropical Storm Imelda one year ago, and Hurricane Harvey three years ago.
“It’s gut-wrenching," said Powell. “When the help came, especially in Imelda, it was like a breath of fresh air.”
These families know the pain of losing everything: not just their possessions, but the irreplaceable baby photos, kids' artwork, and memories of the toil to achieve the American Dream.
“It’s the worst feeling in the world because you’ve worked so hard," said Powell. "To think, oh my gosh, we just lost everything.”
"I know how it feels to drive through the warzone, and everything that you own is on the curb. Everything you've worked for is gone." Abram said of a hurricane's aftermath.
They are paying it forward, or back, to those who swooped in during their most trying times and lent them a helping hand.
“I can’t sit still knowing someone is hurting and God has given me the ability to make a change," said Abram.
He is still taking donations, and expects to make at least two more trips to Louisiana.