Though the news has been slow to cover it, you may have heard Louisiana is suffering the worst US flooding since Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast. This is not Katrina (for too many reasons to list) but it is devastating and it’s not even close to over. Here’s a partial listing of places to make donations of goods and/or money. Reminders from my mom – when donating undergarments, remember that many people need larger sizes and remember to buy hair care for every ethnicity.
Second Harvest Food Bank is accepting nonperishable food items such as canned vegetables, canned fruit, canned meat, soups, stews, beans, chili, peanut butter, pasta, rice, breakfast cereal and shelf-stable milk. Cleaning supplies such as bleach, disinfectants, sponges, gloves, trash bags and scrub brushes. 700 Edwards Ave., Elmwood 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday
United Way Southeast Louisiana is accepting buckets, bleach, cleaning detergent, mops, Shockwave for mold, mops, brooms, paper towels, large garbage bags, rubber gloves, masks, scrub brushes, scouring pads, sponges, air freshener, toiletries, hand sanitizer, shampoo, conditioner, bar soap, hand soap, adult diapers, disposable razors, shaving cream, toilet paper, diapers for babies, baby wipes, baby food, baby formula, sippy cups and bottles, pet cages, kennels, leashes, collars, pet food, cat litter, bottled water, nonperishable food items and school supplies. Weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 2515 Canal St., New Orleans, or weekdays from 10 a.m to 3 p.m. at 411 West Coleman Ave., Hammond.
Associated Professional Educators of Louisiana – 100 percent of donations will be turned over to teachers who have lost classroom materials in the floods. Teachers can also apply for the financial aid through the same link.
Help Animal Rescue in devastated Denham Springs by filling out an application, or call Ginnie (504) 669-1908 or Kathy (504) 717-0614 for more info. As a foster you would provide day to day care and food; all medical will be provided through ARNO shelter.
The Governors office of Elderly Affairs needs over 500 meals a day feed our seniors in Baton Rouge. Over the next two weeks the Cafe’ Reconcile catering van will be making runs to Baton Rouge on Monday, Wednesday and Friday to deliver refrigerated food donations. Cafe’ Reconcile can receive refrigerated food donations. Deliver meals in disposable containers. Suggested dishes are chicken, beef, fish, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, rice, gumbo, green beans, mixed vegetables, corn, red beans, black eyed peas, bread and cookies.
Ike’s Snowballs is accepting donations for toiletries, baby items and personal hygiene products. Free medium snowball with donations at Ike’s Snowballs at 520 City Park Avenue. Danielle (504) 723-9088
Little Pnuts Toy Shoppe is collecting children’s items, toys, games & books to distribute to folks in need in Baton Rouge. Collection times will be Tuesday – Saturday (8/16-8/20) from 10:00am-5:00pm and Sunday (8/21) 10:00am-3:00pm.
There are many more. If no one near you is collecting donations, maybe you could start one at your local business, school or church. When you lose everything, anything might be of help. That said, remember that no one wants used underwear or unwearable clothing. Keep in mind it’s hot here right now. After Katrina, I kept following up with the organization I helped and found they definitely needed hats and scarves – but not until it got colder. And they needed prom dresses but not until late spring. Try to put yourself in the shoes of those you are helping when selecting non-cash donations. I also learned the best food items you could donate for locals here were rice and beans. Both dry and non-perishable, rice is fundamental to many local recipes and beans provide protein.
Before I moved here, I heard Anders Osborne sing Louisiana Rain at Tipitina’s and felt he was calling me home. A year later, he sang it at my first French Quarter Fest as a resident. I had wondered if I was crazy moving here after the Storm but as the sun set behind his stage on the Mississippi River, I realized that I would die on this dirt. Here is that song:
And here is Marcia Ball singing Randy Newman’s heartbreaking Louisiana 1927:
Lastly, here’s a photo from John Schneider Studios as the waters were rising. This is the second time this year that Schneider and his neighbors will have to deal with a major flood but he has doubled-down his commitment to being a Louisianan because he’s never felt such a sense of community – especially in the face of disaster.