Debbie Reimer was moved by a news report on the devastation that two hurricanes had caused in Lake Charles, La.
Hurricane Laura hit Aug. 27, 2020, followed six weeks later by Hurricane Delta.
“I saw the police chief of Lake Charles being interviewed on TV, and they were showing there was so much destruction down there, which I witnessed,” Reimer said. “The police chief said Lake Charles was a blue-collar community, and the sad part was he said a big majority of the homeowners don’t even have homeowners insurance. He said they were desperate and in need of help to rebuild. It struck a chord with me. My heart went out to the people.”
Reimer, who works at Carmel Racquet Club, decided to help by conducting a toy drive. She collected toys in her camper in the club’s back parking lot. Reimer, who has no other connection to the Lake Charles area, was thankful for all the people who donated to the drive.
“Most of the people put thought into toys. I got things like a chemistry set, a magic set, books and puzzles and games,” she said.
Reimer and her grandson, Harper Dotas, a Carmel High School junior, loaded her camper with the toys and began the 15-hour drive to Lake Charles on Thanksgiving Day. They delivered the toys to Todd Suire in Lake Charles, who was recommended by the Lake Charles mayor as someone who organizes toy drives.