On August 29, 2021, Hurricane Ida made landfall near Port Fourchon, Louisiana, devastating the state of Louisiana. Throughout its path of destruction, more than a million people were left with no electricity and many without shelter due to extreme wind and heavy flooding. Without access to basic necessities such as food and water, residents statewide required assistance to recover from this major hurricane.
Immediately, BAPS Charities volunteers from throughout Louisiana worked together on many different fronts to help ease the burden of those affected. With most of the state resources logistically strained for food and water, BAPS Charities in partnership with charitable organizations and local government offices provided provide critical supplies over the coming weeks to those families in need.
Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) also provided relief support with a generous donation of $5,000. On September 8, 2021, in conjunction with New Orleans Councilwoman Cyndi Nguyen, BAPS Charities volunteers along with volunteers from the Councilwoman’s office provided cases of supplies to 325 families at the Household of Faith in New Orleans. On the same day at a neighborhood shopping center parking lot in Hammond, Louisiana, 15 volunteers provided supplies to over 350 families. State Representative Nicholas Muscarello, Hammond City Mayor Pete Panepinto, Police Chief Edwin Bergeron along with 10 police officers came to provide support. With so many individuals without fresh food and water, these critical items fulfilled essential needs for many.
On September 10, 2021, with help from Mr. Dwayne LaGrange, a Community Leader and Coordinator for St. Charles Parish, BAPS Charities organized a distribution station with 16 volunteers working tirelessly to provide cases of essential supplies to 2100 families at the Mt Zion Baptist Church located in Saint Rose, Louisiana. St. Charles Parish Councilwoman Marilyn Bellock also joined BAPS Charities volunteers in distributing food and water packages to residents. Councilwoman Bellock shared, “It was the greatest moment in my career when non-profit organizations like BAPS Charities came to serve our community.”
Pastor Jose Ortega of the National Association of Christian Churches (NACC) immediately extended assistance in distributing groceries, bottled water, instant meals and snacks as well as cleaning supplies to many families.
On September 11, 2021, with assistance from the State Governor’s Office, Ms. Amanda Smith helped coordinate a distribution station where 14 BAPS Charities volunteers provided cases of supplies for 850 families at the First Pentecostal Church of Denham Springs.
On September 20, 2021, with assistance from the State Governor’s Office, Ms. Amanda Smith and State Representative Kerner Timothy, BAPS Charities provided essential supplies to 1,450 families of the ravaged coastal community of Jean Lafitte.
All of the community service leaders showed tremendous appreciation and gratitude for BAPS Charities role in the relief efforts. BAPS Charities is thankful to its volunteers, many of whom had businesses and homes that were severely damaged and yet dedicated themselves to support their communities.