By: Pat Austin
SHREVEPORT — I wrote on this blog a couple of weeks ago about the excellent work the Cajun Relief Foundation is doing in helping Louisiana’s flood victims get back on their feet as the politicians dicker over who will oversee the $1.6 billion in federal relief dollars. As of this date, none of that relief money has been disbursed to flood victims to help rebuild their gutted homes.
Cajun Relief Foundation now has their crowd-funding site set up to where you can donate everything from dish towels to stoves to those people who are trying to recover after the August 2016 floods.
Consider the case of flood victim Judy Hood:
[Judy] currently rents a mobile home near her Holden Residence. Her home has been family owned since the ’60’s. Although it was devastated by 4′ of flood water, she’s grateful to God for the safety of her elderly parents.
Upon her return home, she discovered that little was salvageable. Among her greatest losses were Bibles, yearbooks, photo albums, and industrial art furniture pieces designed by her brothers. After the flood, Judy discovered “cotton balls” in which a friend quickly revealed was mold. Staying in the home profoundly impacted her health. Judy is a cancer patient. Unable to eat for two weeks, her health declined and she fell ill with a bacterial infection. Although her health has improved, she remains on a breathing machine. Her home has been gutted and treated for mold; however, reconstruction has yet to begin. Judy has $15,000 in funds to complete the work. Her brother is eager to help, but without supplies, he’s concerned, as labor costs alone would quickly deplete the funds.
There is a list of items you can donate through the site to help Judy: she needs towels ($25), a dryer ($300), dishes ($50) all the way up to building supplies like sheetrock and insulation.
Another case being worked by Cajun Relief is that of Mr. Nate:
At 70 years old, disabled, diabetic and blind in one eye, due to a failed cataract surgery, he just took life as it came and enjoyed being with his neighbors. The great flood of August 2016 was unlike anything he’d ever seen before and turned his once relatively easy going life, upside down.
When the August storm hit the water began to rise quickly. A friend tried to get to Nataniel by truck, but the water was starting to come up into the truck cab. After parking a distance away on higher ground, Nathaniel’s friend was able to reach him and pull him to safety through waist deep water. For six months after the flood Nathaniel was displaced and stayed with his sister. Everything in his home was lost.
In spite of losing many of his neighbors who were displaced due to the overwhelming devastation, Nathaniel has kept is positive spirit. Even surviving with no stove, no hot water, and no refrigerator, he remains active in service to those around him.
He needs silverware ($30), a water heater ($700), refrigerator ($600), pots and pans ($60), etc.
There are many other cases on the Cajun Relief crowd-funding page. If you can help any of these people rebuild their lives and make a donation, by all means do so. If you can’t, just sharing it on your social media can help.
Go here to read about the crowd-funding and about Cajun Relief Foundation. They’re doing the hard work of interviewing and documenting all of these flood victims and their needs. A caseworker is assigned to each flood victim and that caseworker follows up on needs, talks to the person, ensures items get delivered to that victim, and serves as an advocate for that person’s needs.
The easy part is clicking the donate button.
Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.