Phenix City native leads charge to help Louisiana flood victims


PHENIX CITY, Ala-  Phenix City is stepping up to offer help to Louisiana flood victims– in a big way.   People there were asked to help, and the response has been overwhelming.

The efforts were all started by a Phenix City native living in Louisiana who turned to his hometown for help. In a story you’ll see only on 3 –  Ricky Vinyard talks to News 3 about the generous heart of our community.

Ricky Vinyard didn’t have to make the trip, but he did. This Phenix City area native who now lives in Sunshine, Louisiana, says his home was spared from flooding. But just three miles away his neighbors weren’t so fortunate.

“The people down there are hungry. Not only are their homes destroyed, but all the stores– grocery stores, hardware stores, and all– are underwater,” says Vinyard.

A report on a Baton Rouge TV station about the need for baby supplies touched him deeply. With a heart that told him to act, Vinyard determined to make a difference. He turned to his Phenix City neighbors.  A Facebook post and some 2,000 shares later, this native son found our area answered his call.

“We saw two or three families, three and four times, yesterday.They would come and unload, and they would go and collect more for us and bring it,” says Vinyard.

The East Alabama Motor Speedway donated space for him to park his RV and use as home base for his collections.

“We have a great community around us, in the Valley area, and people are just great about reaching out to help when it’s needed. And it’s certainly needed right now,” says Bill Thomas, East Alabama Motor Speedway president and general manager.

Sonder Harmon of Ladonia saw his Facebook post.  She stopped today to ask how she could help.

“They need help. I mean, we’re up here living life normally. This gentleman right here, he’s living it, he sees it, he’s taking it back and forth, and we just need to help,” says Harmon.

The East Alabama Motor Speedway and Vinyard plan to team up again next weekend. They’ll be collecting more items at the upcoming monster truck events on Friday and Saturday nights at the Motor Speedway.

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