COLUMBIA, Miss. (WHLT) – Volunteers with the Mississippi-based organization Columbia Strong pulled the town together and filled two 18-wheeler trucks with bottled water.
The trucks arrived in Columbia, South Carolina on Tuesday from Columbia, Mississippi.
“Our main thing is to get a lot of this water to the three area hospitals,” Project leader Carlton Thornhill said.
Thornhill says the community’s experiences during Hurricane Katrina and last year’s tornado made them want to reach out to their “Sister City.”
“They’ve taken care of us after Katrina, and they came last year after the tornado on the 23rd of December. They stayed and help, now they need our help unfortunately,” Thornhill said.
The two cities don’t just bear the same name. Early settlers from Columbia, South Carolina were the ones who also named Marion County’s largest city.
“The terrain reminded them of South Carolina from Columbia, so they settled there and named it Columbia, Mississippi,” Thornhill adds.
Along with the truck loads of water, Columbia Strong is sent $9,000 in donations and words of encouragement from Mayor Pro Temp Edward Hough.
“We’re paying it forward, but we’re also paying it back,” Thornhill said before he left Monday to head to South Carolina.