Image Credits: GERALD HERBERT/AP IMAGES

On August 12th, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards declared the entire state of Louisiana in a state of emergency from severe weather and flooding. Atleast 13 people have lost their lives. The search continues for survivors and people that might still be trapped by the flood waters. The Red Cross is stating that this is the worst natural disaster since Hurricane Sandy. Louisiana has experienced tragedy like this before in 2005, when Hurricane Katrina hit.  We saw a city and a nation come together to rebuild and help their neighbors, just like we will now. The people of Louisiana need our help.  Not only do they need help rebuilding their homes and schools that have been flooded by the storm, but also as support.  Here is 5 ways you can contribute whether you are local or across the country.

1) Operation Blessing International, OBI, is a “nonprofit, humanitarian organization dedicated to demonstrating God’s love by alleviating human need and suffering in the United States and around the world.” They have set up a fund on their website to help bring food, water, and other emergency relief to those who have been affected by the storm.

2) Samaritan’s Purse  – “partners with churches in the communities where we respond to disasters, working together to share the love of Jesus Christ with people facing grief and uncertainty.”  They are currently looking for overnight and day volunteers that can commit at least three days.   They will provide meals and a place to stay. Teams will assist in debris removal and mudouts.  This is a great opportunity for those nearby that can commit to hands on assistance.

3) United Way of Southeast Louisana  – United Way of Southeast Louisiana has set up a Flood Relief and Recovery Fund to accept donations to support short-term and long-term efforts to provide relief and recovery related to the August 2016 floods in our region. We understand that recovery is a long-term effort, and will make every effort to raise funds to continue to support local needs to help the nonprofits and community members most impacted.”  The organization is accepting contributions, as well as donations of cleaning supplies and other items, at multiple locations that can all be found here. Right now, the thing they need most is cleaning supplies.  The cleaning supplies will be dispersed to shelters and other places where needed. If you are able to volunteer, fill out the following availability form.

4) Save the Children began working with Louisiana communities in 2005 in response to Hurricane Katrina. In 2012, they started a Head Start program in Louisiana. Save the Children has opened four child friendly spaces in Baton Rouge that give a safe play area for children. They are coordinating with other organizations to assist in getting child friendly space kits to them.  In addition, they are also assisting in getting education on how to keep kids safe during a disaster, distributing school supplies, and helping damaged child care centers to reopen quickly. Staff and volunteers are identifying what children and their families need the most.  This includes food, clothing, hygiene items, cleaning supplies, and financial support. To help Save the Children efforts click here to make a donation.

5) As we begin our Back to Campus week here at FFL we should keep in mind the teachers and students that are eager to get back to school.  They are going to face some difficulties and changes in their schedules. The Louisiana School Boards Association which represents the 69 local publican districts has set up a gofundme to help with classroom supplies and repairs, clean up costs, and technology replacement. In addition, The Louisiana Association of Educators has activated its flood crisis plan.  The National Education Association has set up a donation page for Louisiana school teachers and support professionals.

Louisiana, you continue to be in our thoughts and prayers. God bless y’all.

Victoria F
FFL Contributor
Victoria is a North Eastern girl with a southern heart, style, morals and the hair to match it. She loves movies with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks, pre-ordering her drinks at Starbucks, and obviously America the beautiful.

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