HOUMA, LA — Hurricane Ida came ashore in Louisiana last August on the anniversary of devastating Hurricane Katrina. Ida was the second-most damaging and intense hurricane to ever hit the Gulf state. First-responders immediately headed to the hardest hit areas, and they stayed on after the storm disappeared from the news headlines. Among the first arrivals was the Texas-based “Somebody Cares” ministry.
When the Somebody Cares team arrived in the city of Houma, Louisiana, they found a church looking for partners to serve their community.
Ben Bufkin, Pastor, Living Word Church:
We really knew that our location was a good spot to host something like this because God’s blessed us with a large parking lot. But we didn’t know who was going to partner with us… and so some guys just started rolling up. It’s just been a huge blessing. We’ve seen thousands of people come through.
The Living Word Church was soon hosting a half-dozen Christian aid groups plus the national guard. Their first priority–providing food for hurricane victims.
Mark Roye, Somebody Cares America:
So Steve was buying meat and bringing in what he could bring in. And at the same time we have to bring in equipment. He brought in his beautiful barbecue trailer that he uses year-round, doing different events and also some business things just to raise money to help support his habit of wanting to help people. And then Mike was procuring, how many thousand pounds of meat? (Mike—off camera) Twelve, twelve thousand eight hundred pounds.
Over the next several weeks volunteers cooked, packaged and delivered over 50,000 hot meals to residents who has lost power or whose homes had been damaged or destroyed by the storm.
Matt Carnes, Living Word Church:
Seeing the people come in each day and like seeing the difference like people from the first day to today, even really yesterday, the people have just, they’re starting to calm down, they don’t have this frantic look on their eyes, have an opportunity to pray with people. We saw some people show up at church on Sunday that wouldn’t have come before.
Warren Beemer, Namaste Ministries:
You know the plan all along was to build a great hub here, see this place solidified, and then be able to go from here down south, where it’s really so much worse.
Some of the crisis response teams have now shifted to rebuilding and recovery, helping residents put their lives back together again after the storm.
Somebody Cares America/International has been responding to disasters across the U.S. and internationally since 1997. For information or to donate, call 713.621.1498 or visit www.SomebodyCares.org.
CONTACT: Doug Stringer, Founder & President 713-621-1498;
Jodie Chiricosta, Vice President 757-447-7339
Source: Global News Alliance, Help for Hurricane Ida victims