GOLDEN MEADOW, La. — The people of New Orleans are not forgetting our Cajun neighbors in Lafourche Parish.
Early Friday morning, Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Deputies loaded up donations from Whole Foods and Catnip Animal Rescue to help Hurricane Ida victims at ground zero in Golden Meadow.
“I think it’s important because they need it,” Sheriff Marlin Gusman said. “And when you need something, you look for people to come and bring it to you.”
When the trailers from New Orleans arrived at the First Baptist Church in Golden Meadow, we found a massive operation sustaining the people hardest hit.
“It means everything. There’s so much need, the devastation is so widespread,” Pastor Matthew Chouest said. “There’s not one person who wasn’t affected or hurt by this storm.”
The pastor’s church was one of the few places in Golden Meadow with hardly any damage.
“It’s become a location with over 3,000 meals a day being served,” Janet Rhodus said. “We’re bringing in donations from all over the country here.”
It now’s become a warehouse with donations from across the US, filled with local and out of state volunteers who came out of love and concern. They’re quick to tell you not one penny is from the government. All of this abundance is from the pockets of everyday Americans and church congregants who have not forgotten those who are hurting.
“The need is great. There’s no store here open, no restaurants here, so God has blessed us with this opportunity to serve,” Rhodus said.
The cars line up every day for food, water, cleaning supplies and clothes. They make a list of needs. Volunteers fill the shopping cart. Volunteers like The Big Easy, a Harlem Globetrotter from New Orleans.
“I’ve been through Katrina, so I understand these people need something,” he said. “And they just want to smile. People just want to feel like they’ve got a chance.”
And the bottom line of this huge volunteer operation is the people who sit in line day after day in need of this generosity. Generosity that includes the necessities of life that they can’t just run to the store right now and buy.