GURVICH: Post-Ida, A Call For Help

Well, here we are, over a week after being hit by yet another major storm. This time the southeastern part of Louisiana took the hit, at least sparing our long-suffering compatriots in the central and western regions of the state.

To those New Orleans area residents who experienced Katrina, Ida formed a sharp contrast with the earlier storm, which struck sixteen years later to the day. Ida brought more wind but much less water than her predecessor- thankfully the levees kept Ida’s waters at bay. Unfortunately, to those outside of the protected zones there wasn’t so much of a contrast as a repeat of the devastation wrought by Katrina.

As heavily damaged as it is and as much hardship as its residents have suffered, the New Orleans area will repair and rebuild quickly once power has been fully restored. The same cannot be said of outlying communities, towns, and rural areas, where the devastation must be seen to be believed. And those folks need help, and they will need it for some considerable time to come.

Having experienced both storms, I well appreciate the Herculean effort that it takes to clean up and rebuild. FEMA was and is a big part of this effort, as the federal government has unmatched resources from which to draw. But FEMA is part of big government, and as we know all too well, big government is often slow and clumsy in responding to major disasters. Just try getting through to FEMA by phone or Internet-you’ll be lucky if you can leave a message.

Thank God for the efforts of our local law enforcement and emergency responders, our state agencies, the National Guard and reserve units, and the Coast Guard. Thank God for the emergency responders from other states who so generously give of their time and talents. And how about those twenty-five thousand linesmen who have come from all over the country to work night and day to repair our shattered power grid? Without the efforts of all the aforementioned folks, our recovery would take years, if indeed it occurred at all. We cannot thank them enough!

But there is another essential component in our rescue and recovery efforts, and it seems to be growing in importance with every passing year. I am speaking of the private groups and individuals from Louisiana and points far afield, who have pitched in to help their neighbors and their fellow Americans.

True, resilient Louisianans and Good Samaritans have always been there for us when the going got tough, but have you noticed their increasing importance since Katrina? The Cajun Navy, Samaritan’s Purse, Operation Blessing, Convoy of Hope, Mercy Chefs, to name just a few of the major players. Then there are the innumerable church groups and smaller non-profit organizations, down to the solitary individuals who often joined in the rescue and recovery efforts while the storm was still raging. All these groups and individuals deserve our deepest gratitude.

What’s more, they deserve support from those of us in a position to help them help our neighbors in need. I am pleased to attach a partial list of such organizations, and I hope to hear from those that I inadvertently left out.

If you need help, contact these organizations as soon as you are able. If you would like to help, contact them right away. Time is of the essence!

Republican Party of Louisiana

New Wine Christian Fellowship (Laplace, LA) – RELIEF efforts Convey of Hope, Mercy Chefs, Operation Blessing – water, food
Pastor Neil Bernard (504) 401-1623
3353, 1929 W Airline Hwy, Laplace, LA 70068
Greatest need: tarps, water, gas

Church of the King – RELIEF efforts – two distributions (partnering with Bethany/Ours Saviors/Etc
Mandeville – 22205 Little Creek Rd, Mandeville, LA 70471 (Convoy of Hope)
Kenner West Esplanade Mall – 1405 W Esplanade Ave, Kenner, LA 70065 (Convoy of Hope) – water, food
Contact: Josh Holliday – (985) 807-7281
Greatest Need: diesel

Celebration Church
Mercy Chefs – feeding, supplies
Pastor Dennis Watson
2001 Airline Dr, Metairie, LA 70001

Thibodaux Family Church – RELIEF efforts – National Guard distributing MREs
Pastor Duane Bland
(985) 859-9005
785 N Canal Blvd, Thibodaux, LA 70301
Greatest need: tarps, water, gas

Vision Christian Center (Foursquare International) in Bourg, LA –  RELIEF efforts distributing 1000 meals/day
Pastor Kim Voisin (985)688-3787
4467 LA-24, Bourg, LA 70343
Greatest need: tarps, water, gas

Life Church – Houma
Operation Blessing – 7 semi trucks so far of supplies
2324 Coteau Road #3700
Houma La 70364
Contact: Tina Trosclair (985-851-6915
Pastor Ben Bufkin (985)637-7648
Greatest need: refrigerator truck

Samaritan’s Purse Locations:

Houma: Covenant Church (formerly First Baptist).
Northshore area: Immanuel Baptist Church in Hammond and First Baptist in Covington
Greater New Orleans, at Saints Community Church in Metairie.

Additional Groups working throughout the area:

God’s Pit Crew – based near Bethany Church Houma Campus- heavy equipment for tree work and tarping
Hope Force International – based in Houma area as well – primarily tarping
Houston Responds /SWLA Responds – multiple locations and resources
City Impact – serving Denham Springs and other areas with food and supplies
Heart to Heart International – based at Baton Rouge Church of the Nazarene but serving Houma and New Orleans; medical missions
Nazarene Compassionate Ministries – teams based at Baton Rouge Church of the Nazarene – work teams

United Pentecostal Distribution Points
They are working with Reach Out America. They are helping to set up distribution points. They really need fuel and generators as well as food.

New Orleans – Apostolic Outreach Center (Pastor Raymond Watson)
(504) 251-1523
8358 Lake Forest Blvd, New Orleans, LA 70126

Thibodeaux- House of Prayer (Pastor Josh Melancon)
(985) 859-4540
2229 LA-3185, Thibodaux, LA 70301

Prairieville- LifePoint Church (Pastor Donavon Hill)
(225) 247-7058
15050 Daigle Rd, Prairieville, LA 70769

Satellite Distribution Center
Loranger – The Pentecostals (Pastor Denny Jenkins)
(985) 801-9294

20155 Milkplant Rd, Loranger, LA 70446
Greatest needs:  desperately needs fuel and other supplies

Louisiana Baptists feeding sites:  Louisiana Baptist Disaster Response

Belle Chasse Baptist Church (SC)
8828 Hwy 23
Belle Chasse, LA 70037

Woodland Park Baptist Church (AR)
1909 JW Davis Dr.
Hammond, LA 70403

First Baptist, Mandeville (MO)
1895 Hwy 190
Mandeville, LA 70448

First Baptist, New Orleans (NC)
5290 Canal Blvd.
New Orleans, LA 70124

Bayou Vista Baptist Church (OK)
411 Field Rd.
Morgan City, LA 70380

Ascension Baptist Church (TBM)
13432 Airline Hwy.
Gonzales, LA 70737

Kentwood Fire Department (GA)
310 Avenue G
Kentwood, LA 70444

Metairie Baptist Church (FL)
401 Codifer Blvd.
Metairie, LA 70005

Coteau Baptist Church (KY)
2066 Coteau Rd.
Houma, LA 70364

First Baptist, Gonzales (SBCT)
1217 South Burnside Ave.
Gonzales, LA 70737

Nazarene Compassionate Ministries:
Heart to Heart


Hurricane Ida Recovery and Relief Fund


NEW HORIZON CHURCH (Pastor John Raymond) Slidell, LA. (985) 768-9640 Volunteers in Slidell area will help remove trees and branches and clean flooded homes.

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