HELPING COMMUNITIES RECOVER FROM GUSTAV, PREPARE FOR IKE
As Hurricane Ike heads into the Gulf of Mexico with winds of 100 mph, Somebody Cares partners are working to help with Gustav relief work in HOUMA, THIBODAUX, and NEW ORLEANS.
“We praise God that Gustav was not as damaging as it could have been,” says Doug Stringer. “Even though it was not as strong as Katrina or Rita, Gustav was still a hurricane-strength storm that inflicted much damage and hardship to the Gulf Coast of Louisiana. Because it hit in rural areas media coverage has not been as great so support is much lower than higher profile storms but there are still many needs that have not been met.”
Paul Malinich from the Greater New Orleans (GNO) Pastors Coalition said, “I’ve been out with churches all over the place. One of the biggest needs is ice (due to power being out).”
Denny Nissley from SCA ministry partner Christ in Action said, “We here in Thibodaux gave out a tractor trailer of ice yesterday and seven pallets in just a couple hours today. People are begging for ice. We gave out 20 pallets of tarps as well as 26 pallets of MREs.” Over the next few days, he said, they will focus on tree removal before the possibility of evacuating for Ike.
At the New Orleans Dream Center, another SCA ministry partner, staff and volunteers are facilitating the return of New Orleans residents by supplying them with food, water, and medical care. “Residents are returning home to houses without power, refrigerators without food, streets to clean, and spirits to lift,” they said. “With the effects of Katrina still hovering around this city, another near disaster is a hard thing to swallow.”
Over the weekend, the Dream Center served over 5000 residents with essential emergency relief, and the Mobile Medical Unit has been filling critical prescriptions for patients who have been out of medicine for up to five days.
Despite a loss of power in their own neighborhood and still struggling to recover from Katrina, Pastor Leonard Lucas from Light City Church in New Orleans took a team to assist 50 pastors in Houma LA, where Gustav made landfall. Their goal is to get churches up and running as “power centers” for the community when the residents return. “They are so grateful for anything. We’ve been where they are now, so we had to go and see what we could do to help.” Ps. Lucas reported that power will be down for many days as “pole after pole” is learning or fallen down.
Below is a breakdown of specific needs and requests:
Greater New Orleans Pastors Coalition:
New Orleans Dream Center:
- Non-perishable food
- Baby items [diapers, etc.]
- Hygiene supplies
- Cleaning supplies
- Blood Pressure Medicine
- Diabetes Medicine
Christ In Action/Thibodaux:
- Large chain saws (24” bar or bigger)
- Generators for the churches and fuel
- Cleaning supplies, brooms, squeegies, buckets
- Toothpaste, toothbrushes, all toiletries and daily supplies
- Mobile kitchen or some way to cook
- Canned food
- Truckload of bottled water
- Tarp for rooftops
- Ice and some type of refrigeration
New Life Church, part of the Somebody Cares Houston network, and First Baptist Church of Kirbyville, of SC Jasper/Newton Counties, each took inventory of their pantries and supplies to put together a truckload for Louisiana.
The needs are still great and with Hurricane Ike now veering into the Gulf mass evacuations and more damage are predicted. All this will cause untold hardship on those in the path of the storm. Please contact the Somebody Cares office at 713-621-1409. Or make a financial contribution to help with relief efforts by DONATING NOW!