Randall Tharp and Gerald Spohrer are heading to Lake Charles, Louisiana with supplies to help victims of Hurricane Laura. Photo by Sara Tharp

When Randall Tharp saw the path that Hurricane Laura was taking straight toward his friends in Lake Charles, Louisiana, he remembered a text he got two years ago. The text was from fellow MLF pro Gerald Spohrer and friend Charles Abshire right before Hurricane Michael—a Category 5 storm—hit Tharp’s hometown of Port Saint Joe, Florida in October of 2018.

“We know exactly what you need. We’re on our way.”

Tharp sent the same text to Spohrer and Abshire a couple of days ago once the track and strength of Laura became clear. Tharp and his wife, Sara, posted in a community Facebook group that they were going to start collecting supplies to take to Lake Charles. The response and support the community showed was amazing.

Just some of the supplies collected by the Tharps donated by Florida residents.

“Those two guys helped me put our house and community back together, so it’s only right that we return the favor and do whatever we can,” Tharp said. “We have generators, at least 200 gallons of fuel, construction supplies, chainsaws, air conditioners, fans, water, and plenty of other things to help get the recovery started. I’m only the first load of supplies, we have other trailers from my community behind me bringing more.”

Randall and Sara Tharp, as well as Gerald Spohrer, are going to set up a base camp at Charles Abshire’s property just north of Lake Charles. That is where they will hand out the supplies to the right people and organizations needing it the most. For the next week or so, the Tharp’s and their Florida community will be doing whatever they can to help Louisiana rebuild, just like they did for them.

“You don’t really know what these people are going through until you’ve been through it yourself,” Tharp explained. “Our town was pretty much wiped off the face of the map by Michael in 2018. I know the kind of work I’m about to get into for the next week or so and I’m ready for it. These people need all the help they can get.”