Local Restaurant Owner Donates 1,000 Meals; Recalls Experience Rescuing Family in New Orleans - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

9/6/05 -

Local Restaurant Owner Donates 1,000 Meals; Recalls Experience Rescuing Family in New Orleans

The Salvation Army is handling a major task at Reese; providing meals for hundreds of survivors and volunteers. So far, they've served 16,000 meals. But on Tuesday night, a local restaurant filled in. NewsChannel 11 was there as River Smith's catering and Delta Chi fraternity served up 1,000 dinners.

500 pounds of catfish, 500 pounds of chicken, and all the fixins in-between, that's what it takes to feed a thousand survivors and volunteers at Reese Center. Richard Shields, the Operations Director at River Smith's says, "We've been busy for 36 hours. When we told the kitchen managers, they were like, what? (laughs)" River Smith's donated $7,000 in catering for the meal and had 37 volunteers from Delta Chi fraternity to serve. Shields says, "It was a lot of coordinating, a lot of cooking, but very worthwhile."

The Lubbock Community Gives Thousands of Dollars to Hurricane Relief Efforts
The Lubbock community is working around the clock to make sure hurricane survivors feel at home in West Texas.

But the story goes beyond the kitchen. Richard Shields has a personal tie to New Orleans. He just returned from rescuing his family from the devastation.

Shields' mother Leonora Bowman says, "I heard the winds whipping Monday. We lost power at 5:00 am. Her daughter Allison said, "I called him (Richard) and said, 'Richard, we're hearing gunshots the street over, you need to come and get us.' I was scared."

That's when Richard and the owner of River Smiths borrowed a 24 foot trailer, loaded it with goods donated from Lubbock and headed to New Orleans to get his mom, sister, and future brother in law.

Home video from the trip showed how one rescue mission turned into a charity for many others as donated items from Lubbock piled up on the streets of a New Orleans compound.

Richard and his family safely returned Monday night to come home to feed a thousand survivors living in Lubbock, a task that now seems small compared to the images seen just days before.

The Bowman's said they also rescued two dogs, Taco Bell and Fluffy, and they are looking for their owners. If you know these dogs, you are urged to call 928-9082.

River Smith's says this is the first of many meals that they hope to donate to the survivors living in Lubbock.

How You Can Help Hurricane Katrina Victims
American Red Cross - Salvation Army - NSALA: Katrina Animal Rescue
Here is a collection of the different ways you can donate to the victims of Katrina.

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