Louisiana has been experiencing devastating flooding from an inland tropical depression, dropping 600% more than normal levels of rain since August 12. This is a .1 percent chance in happening, also known as a 1000 year rain. Southern Louisiana has received over 6.9 trillion gallons of rain and the rain still hasn't stopped. Some locations are still flooded and some are expected to re-flood.
We are part of a group of 12 New Orleans businesses that are using their shop & restaurant spaces as drop off spots for donations. Yesterday, we brought 3 carloads of flood relief supplies to a small donation & flood rescue center in New Iberia. 4 additional car/van loads were brought to Baton Rouge. We estimate that these donations helped 400 families. (see more below)
This does not end our collection and delivery. The following businesses are continuing to collect and deliver donations to remote locations in Acadiana. This will be to small towns, folks in rice and sugarcane fields, and crawfish workers as well. These people are in need and aren't receiving donations from the larger donation centers. It will take a long time for our neighbors to be back on their feet, thank you for your help.
Church Alley Coffee, The GOOD Shop, 1618 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., Central City
Dryades Market, 8am-8pm, 1307 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., Central City
Cane & Table, 5pm-12am, 1113 Decatur St., French Quarter
Solo Espresso, 8am-3pm, 1301 Poland Ave., Bywater (on vacation through Sept. 4)
We are currently collecting:
Cleanup Supplies & Detergent
Mops, Fans, Utility Knives, & Buckets
Feminine Hygiene Products
Diapers, Formula, & Baby Wipes
New Toothbrushes & Toothpaste
Towels, Pillows, & Sheets
Non Perishable Food
Pet food, leashes
No Clothes - Except for men's tall, women's plus, and children's clothing
If you would like to make a direction cash donation, we are recommending the following groups:
For People: Blessings New Iberia, please donate to their Go Fund Me page. This money will be used to help low income families in New Iberia with home supplies and restoration of their homes. Also, United Way Acadiana & Southeast Louisiana.
For Pets: Angel Paws Animal Rescue - A no-kill shelter taking in all kinds of animals: Dogs, Cats, Goats, Horses, etc.
Additional resources & how to help:
New Orleans Moms Blog has a full list of donation groups & drop off spots.
Second Harvest Food Bank in partnership with Rouses, text LAFLOODS to 90999 to donate $10
Cafe Reconcile, help prepare meals and they are also requesting: Chicken, Beef, Fish, Mac & Cheese, Mashed Potatoes, Rice, Gumbo, Green Beans, Mixed Veggies, Corn, Red Beans, Black Eyed Peas, Bread and Cookie
Hugs & smiles from the wonderful folks at this church/flood rescue/donation center in New Iberia brought me some tears, as well as the generosity & quick reply from the New Orleans community to help our neighbors in need. One woman at the shelter has to boat from her home to town, her now watery front yard currently filled with swimming alligators & snakes. It's going to take a while ya'll, we'll need to bring them more soon. But, they are thrilled with everything that we brought them & asked them to keep us posted as to what they are needing. We will update this blog post with needs for the area. This is one church in one town, we know there are others that are still needing donations and that haven't received help yet. Thank you for making this happen!
We drove through some pretty bad storms, blaringly loud flash flood warnings, and when we saw helicopters above at one point, I had a moment of wondering if we would get stuck. But, we made it A-OK, all was fine, and we are happy to do it again and thrilled to have been able to bring so much.
I also learned a new term, one woman volunteering at the shelter said she had lived in New Orleans and had relocated to New Iberia after Katrina. She said, thanks for having our six, then explained that also meant got your back. But, the phrase was originally - got your six, we googled it later - It originated in WWI with fighter pilots, the back of your plane is known as the 6-o-clock position, thus people would say I got your 6.
Through our partnerships with local businesses, by Sunday we will have gotten 19 car loads of donations deep into impacted areas. It's hard to quantify how many people we have impacted or will be impacted by this effort. At the Church we went to yesterday, they said that in 3 hours they were able to service 80 families. So 3 car loads in 3 hours and 80 families. They were nowhere near done with the items we brought. I think it's safe to say these 3 cars will have helped at least 200 families. Drivers into Baton Rouge also had 3 carloads, that's another 200 families. 400 hundred families with about half of the items we collected in 4 days is a safe estimate.
Big thanks to all that are bringing donations and to the following businesses that participated in our initial partnership. Big love to you all & biggest thanks to Renée Blanchard for starting this collaboration with one post on facebook!!
Buff Beauty Bar
Cane & Table
Church Alley Coffee
Dryades Public Market
Goods that Matter
Rouler Cycling & Café
The GOOD Shop