More than 60,000 homes have been damaged in the worst flooding in Louisiana since Superstorm Sandy in 2012. Tens of thousands of people are in shelters or staying away from their homes. The waters are only starting to recede and the relief effort is only now getting started.
With over 100,000 people asking for assistance, the need is great. We can help. Here are three of several dozens US organizations working in Louisiana right now:
Convoy of Hope
Convoy of Hope’s Disaster Services team continues to respond to historic flooding in Louisiana where more than 145,000 structures — commercial and residential — were impacted. More than 1 million pounds of food, water, cleaning supplies, hygiene kits and other much-needed items have been distributed.
“We are working with partners in the area and plan to stay in full distribution mode for the next several days,” says Hal Donaldson, president and co-founder of Convoy of Hope. “Once the immediate needs have been met, we can start debris removal and cleanup operations.”
To date, Convoy of Hope has sent 41 truckloads to the affected areas, serving nearly 40,000 people.
“We plan to stay as long as we need to in order to help families get back on their feet,” Donaldson adds. “Our partners and friends allow us to help these families get back into their homes and we couldn’t be more grateful.”
Samaritan’s Purse, which is also on site, reported that more than 100 volunteers – almost half of them first-timers – have already put in many hours clearing debris and salvaging valuables from homes throughout the Baton Rouge area, which officials have described as “Katrina-like,” referring to 2005’s Hurricane Katrina.
Presently, Samaritan’s Purse has set up a base of operation in Greenwell Springs Baptist Church to serve the East Baton Rouge Parish and surrounding areas.
“Samaritan’s Purse was like the cavalry coming over the horizon as they were coming into our community. They are making a huge difference in this community,” reported Tony Perkins, Greenwell Springs Baptist Church’s Interim Pastor and President of the Family Research Council.
“This disaster is incredibly widespread,” said Major Ed Binnix, Salvation Army Incident Commander. “But we will be here to feed these folks and get them the supplies they need to make it through this.”
Plus, friends and neighbors are stepping up to stand with The Salvation Army in a big way. Neighbors like 100 students from Dillard University who showed up at the distribution center to help organize supplies for each resident who came by.
“Some of these students are from Baton Rouge,” said Jeremy Carter, Dillard’s Director of Student Leadership. “We know education combined with community service can make a difference.”
They weren’t shy either, as they dove into piles of donated goods and started creating cleaning kits and food boxes to be handed out.
“Not everyone is as fortunate as we are. It’s very important to make a difference,” said Anwar Robinson, Dillard Resident Life Coordinator.