INDIANAPOLIS — A team of Hoosier volunteers arrived back home in Indiana Monday evening after spending the weekend helping people in Texas.
Their mission was spearheaded by a man in Haughville, who founded a community group in Indy, called "Hood 2 Hood."
He raised money and donations in record time for the meaningful journey south.
When Terrance Hood saw the crisis unfolding in Texas — people without power, heat or water for days — he did more than sympathize. He felt compelled to act.
"I just wanted to help," Hood said. "I didn't know how I was going to help. I didn't know if we were going to be able to get there. I've never driven this far in my life. But we have a heart and we seen our people in need and just wanted to extend our hand."
So Hood posted a plea on Facebook Friday night, and within hours, he secured donations, vehicles and volunteers for a 2,000-mile round trip from Indianapolis to Fort Worth.
"It was a challenge put in front of us, but we Hoosiers, we can handle it," Hood said.
He amassed a caravan of 16 helpful Hoosiers in two cars, a donated SUV, U-Haul and party bus, all loaded up to serve strangers in need.
When they arrived in a high school parking lot in Fort Worth, Hood said the need for help was abundantly clear.
"It was stretched around the block, outside the gate. There was a lot of people here," Hood said. "The kids were drinking water and it made it seem like they didn't have water for weeks. It was a very, very dire situation. They need that. They had no help down there. And for somebody to come from a state, a city, that I'm sure a couple of them never heard of, it was a blessing to see them with the relief on their faces like 'Wow, this may not last us a week, but at least we know for today, we're good.'"
Hood said all the donations they brought barely fit in the vehicles, but every single person in line got water and supplies.
"So they had food. They had water, they had clothes. They had feminine products. They had hygiene. They had everything that they needed in order to go home and be safe for that day," Hood said.
Hood 2 Hood impacted nearly 1,000 Texans over the weekend. And it impacted the Indianapolis community too. Giving back, Hood said , is infectious.
He hopes neighbors delivering 'Hoosier hospitality' many miles away inspires people to help people in their own neighborhoods, too.
"You don't have to have a lot of money or a lot of manpower to do something special, do something beautiful just for your human comrades," Hood said. "So this definitely changed me. It changed our organization, everybody with me. We're going to take this with us for the rest of our life."