I am a Wal-Mart Driver from DC 7836 in Sealy, Texas. Jump into the passenger seat and take a ride with me into the very heart of New Orleans, and I will take you on a first-hand tour of the disaster I witnessed this week.
As we head into the area, we have a Federal Disaster Relief pass and this will get us through the road blocks. Once past that, we are traveling through roads with utter destruction on all sides. It is also midnight. There is just enough room for a big rig to pass through and no more. As we work our way to the Command Center (Store #911), we see things we have never seen before and feel as though we are in a horror movie, or driving in a third world country. Once we near a somewhat populated area, we are intercepted by a police escort and begin to see the first signs of life. Our command center is the only building on that side of town with any power and is heavily armed with police. We arrive and see everybody there working on only 2-3 hours sleep, and there is no equipment to unload the trailer. At day break, the decision is made to unload the trailer by hand because the people in need cant wait any longer.
With a two-car police escort, we make our way through the gloomy city, with broken cables down, broken limbs everywhere, having to move debris, and cutting an odd path to the shelters. As we arrive, a third police car arrives and secures the large crowd of refugees in the area.
As I crawl onto the parking lot with my truck and tractor, the crowd looks and sees the large Wal-Mart truck and trailer. It brought the first ray of sunshine to the entire shelter. The crowd immediately rose to their feet and let out loud cheers, clapping and jumping for joy as I drove to the unloading area. This was a sight and feeling I will never forget. I drove to 3 shelters in all. I received the same welcome at all three shelters.
I could continue writing detail after detail concerning all the good things these grateful people said about our company. This is just a little sample of their appreciation.
I hope this letter reaches every person in our company, from the door greeter to the president, because it took every one of us to make this day better for these special people and to give them hope again.
Sealy, Texas #7836