Two weeks ago a colleague called me and told me he felt compelled to do something to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey and asked me to help. You see, one of the reasons I got into the newspaper business was to serve my community and humanity in general. I believe that community newspapers have the ability to be so much more than facts and information, I believe we can make a difference if utilized correctly.

It started with a bag of dog food
Two weeks ago a colleague called me and told me he felt compelled to do something to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey and asked me to help.  You see, one of the reasons I got into the newspaper business was to serve my community and humanity in general.  I believe that community newspapers have the ability to be so much more than facts and information, I believe we can make a difference if utilized correctly.
This was one of those occasions.
Very quickly I penned a brief plea to our readers at the Pittsburg Morning Sun  to drop off much needed goods and we would find a way to get them to victims in Texas.  I pulled my utility trailer in front of the newspaper, proofed the article one last time for the morning’s paper and went home for the night.
The next morning as I rounded the block I saw a huge bag of dog food already on the trailer.  I was overjoyed that someone had already read the paper and reacted.  Then the flood gates opened.  Hundreds of people turned out due to that one simple plea.  Calls and emails poured in as people wanted to know what they could do to help.
Local businesses really stepped up as well as individuals.  I will not mention any one here as I would leave too many off.  As the weekend approached I could tell we were in the midst of something special.  As we sorted the donations it soon became apparent that the one box truck we were going to take down was simply not going to do it.  
It was not only at Pittsburg, but also one of our sister newspapers, Neosho Daily News, jumped on the bandwagon. Along with the readers and Facebook posts, the Daily News collected dog and cat food, diapers and other items. They had enough to fill a pallet.
With the collections, w realized we needed an 18-wheeler!
We learned that the Joplin Family Worship Center had partnered with CFI Trucking to deliver supplies and they graciously offered to send a truck over to help us.  
In all, you helped us collect 25 pallets of much needed supplies that is being distributed to those in need as we speak.  I am filled with pride in my new hometown.  You will probably never know how much those couple of days meant to me.  The handshakes, the kind words, the smiles, the honks and thumbs up I received really made an impression on me.
And to think, it all started with a bag of dog food.


Jamey Honeycutt is the publisher of the Neosho Daily News. He can be emailed at jhoneycutt@gatehousemedia.com