Whether it’s securing safety barriers for local festivals or aiding hurricane victims hundreds of miles away, Heather Eason is a woman of action.
She may be chief growth officer for Ocean Springs Lumber and Supply Company and founder of Buy a Barricade LLC, but Eason’s value to the community can’t be distilled down to a day job. She’s run for local elected office, started an all-female Mardi Gras krewe in Ocean Springs and established a disaster recovery effort called Comeback Coolers, to name a few of her endeavors; plus, she plans to start Bible College next year.
Of her numerous charitable activities, Eason calls Comeback Coolers “the most moving project I’ve ever had the chance in which to take part.” The effort started during a 2016 flood in Louisiana.
“As I looked at the devastation…, I knew I had to do more,” she said. “Looking at the debris, I knew the people needed big trucks and muscle to help with the clean up.”
Unequipped to aid in that way, she remembered her mom bringing coolers full of ice-cold drinks to Ocean Springs after Katrina — a small gesture that had a huge impact.
“That first sip of beer made us feel a bit of normalcy, and we suddenly had hope that better days were ahead,” Eason says. “That hope is what I wanted to spread, and it is how Comeback Coolers began.”
Eason and her sister delivered 50 coolers to Denham Springs, Louisiana, filled with beverages, Wet Wipes and words of encouragement. Later, dozens more went to Texas and Florida for victims of hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Coolers packed specially for kids contained snacks and toys.
“The givers and receivers are able to connect with each other and it’s been a beautiful thing,” she says. “You see, people in the middle of a disaster who are in the hot sun putting their life at the curb can take a break for a minute to have a cold drink and read coolers of encouraging words from disaster survivors – people who have been there before.”.