Somebody Cares continues to bring relief to areas of Southeast Texas and Louisiana that were devastated by record-high flooding. Below are reports from our chapters and field reps:
First Baptist Church of Kirbyville TX, facilitators of our Somebody Cares Jasper/Newton Counties chapter, has been hosting a shelter for two weeks and offering assistance and comfort to flood victims since the Sabine River began rising and local officials ordered a mandatory evacuation. While quickly reaching capacity at the shelter with 44 people, hundreds more have been fed hot meals and received prayer. This week, the church began taking applications for mud-out crews. Some families have been able to return to their homes to begin the clean-up process, but the shelter will be operating for a while, says Beverly Burchett, wife of Pastor Charles Burchett. “Unfortunately, some families will be going home to nothing.” Aid and assistance will continue as families rebuild their homes and their lives.
Beverly says the main needs right now are financial gifts for relief supplies and gift cards to give away so families can purchase what they need most. “We are also in need of a couple of portable buildings and/or travel trailers for a couple of flood victims who are now homeless,” she says.
Although Covington LA is not located in a floodplain, unprecedented rainfall caused three nearby rivers to flood into the city, causing damage to over 2500 homes and tremendous loss of property, including vehicles. With no electricity or clean water, a local ministry called Blessings All Year Long, led by Tiffany and Scott Ceyprian, opened the only distribution center in a 40-mile radius. Working from a donated building in the inner city with no power or running water, they served over 750 people the first week. Tiffany is a survivor of Hurricane Katrina, having been stranded for six days before being rescued.
SCA field rep Mark Roye visited the center to assess the needs and mobilize assistance.
“Tiffany has a compassionate heart that motivated her to reach out and help,” he says. “In St. Tammany Parish, over 2000 homes were flooded with at least a foot of water. Many people have begun gutting homes. A lot of areas are still not accessible.”
Needs at the center include baby diapers, formula, wipes, contractors trash bags, masks, gloves, rubber boots, bug repellent, tools, tarps, contractor plastic, first aid items, wire mesh, and chain saws. “Gift cards would be a great help,” Mark said.
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