Local woman brings Irma evacuees cookies and more


BRISTOL, Tenn - A local woman is reaching out in a very personal way to help Hurricane Irma evacuees in our area.

Laurie Yates is from Bristol, Tennessee.

After she saw on Facebook that there are still evacuees seeking shelter at Bristol Motor Speedway, she baked a batch of cookies and headed over to the grounds to see how she could help.

"She has such a big smile on her face. And she gave us a lovely card. God bless her. She just made us both cry," recalled Florida evacuee Nanette Stewart after meeting Yates.

Yates said she felt obligated to help.

"Nobody has come to help these people," said Yates. "I just think that's so sad."

Not only has she brought the evacuees cookies, but also pizza, dog food for their pets, and more.

"Inside the card she gave us, she put $15-- out of the goodness of her heart," explained Stewart.

Yates said helping out is no trouble for her. She loves getting to know the evacuees.

"They were really, really grateful." said Yates. "They came back to me and gave me a boomerang, a little Australian mit, and they gave my neighbor a little koala bear. These people have nothing, and yet they're so giving."

She only has one request for the evacuees in return.

"It feels good to help somebody. I hope they just pay it forward. That's all I want," thought Yates.

She plans to return to the grounds every day until all the evacuees return to their homes.

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