Hurricane Harvey recovery assistance efforts grow across Northshore

Donation drive collects supplies for those affected by Hurricane Harvey

LACOMBE-  The images out of Southeast Texas are hard to take in, but they're also familiar to Shannon Bordelon at Bayou Adventure in Lacombe.

"It's been 12 years today and it's been tough," she said, "It's very emotional and it's very hard for all of us to see, to smell, especially, all of that again. It's pretty gut-wrenching, but we have to do it, and we're the ones because we do know. We're the ones that have to be there and be there for our friends."

It's why she didn't hesitate to sign up as a donation drop-off point when Steve and Tammy Larson kicked off Gulf Coast Flood Relief to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey.

They're taking any and all recovery essentials dropped off straight to the hardest hit areas next week. Drop off locations in addition to Bayou Adventure include Downtown Cleaners in Amite, Bella Salon in Mandeville and Trinity Baptist in Laurel, Mississippi.

They're also using any monetary donations through their GoFundMe account to pay for hotel rooms for first responders.

"'Why do you do this,' our kids ask us constantly," said Tammy Larson, "Because we can. And if you can, why don't you?"

Steve Larson said, "What I tell people is we're doing what we would hope someone would do for us because this could have been us again."

The Larsons are re-igniting an assistance operation they started after the floods of 2016.  They're hoping the community support then happens again, and so far, it looks like it will.

"I just feel like we have to reach in our hearts and help people," said Chere Olivier with Bella Salon, "And reach out to our community and get them involved."

"When a disaster strikes, we ask ourselves immediately what can I do and sometimes there are things we are capable of doing and we just have to take action," said Bordelon.

And many on the Nortshore are wasting no time doing just that.

If you'd like with the Gulf Coast Flood Relief effort, head to their Facebook page where you can see their list of requested items.

Also, Mary Queen of Peace Church in Mandeville and St. Jane de Chantal in Abita Springs are collection points for their own drives, while St. Scholastica's Academy has a "Stuff the Bus" campaign going on there through Thursday.

Lastly, for the four-legged victims of the storm, Slidell Police has just teamed up with the St. Tammany Humane Society for that organization's collection of food and supplies for its rescue efforts.

Don't forget that the Northshore Food Bank started a donation collection on Monday, along with all of the fire departments in Tangipahoa Parish.

And local eateries like MillTown Barbeque in Bogalusa and Southern Tradition Catering in Slidell are taking donations to help them head to Texas to feed hurricane victims.
 

© 2017 WWL-TV


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