I'm not sure if the pictures here will convey the level of poverty we saw in this area. It was very depressing. There were many houses that had been already abandoned from previous hurricanes. I made sure that the pictures that I took were of those houses occupied before Gustav and Ike. This was apparent either because their belongings were in front of their houses or we saw people peeking out. We always asked if we could take their picture, but they were very shy and asked that we only take pictures of their houses. The supplies we brought were gone in one day.
The young woman who lived her was too shy to let us take her picture.
The woman who lived here said her house was just fine before the storm.
Please, if you or your group would like to collect more canned food, I would be happy to get it down there for you!
The entire contents homes that were occupied were in their front yards
This toxic slug sits in the yards that were flooded.
Bow, our paramedic, on the road to Isle de Jean Charles
Dulac Community Center right after we finished unloading.
The Dulac Community Center can house about 40 volunteers and they were full. Someone from the community slips in and cooks dinner every evening and the volunteers are just asked to clean up. These people are very self reliant and it seems hard for them to ask for outside help. They are very grateful.
I have to say, I have always been interested in the Native American culture and it was pretty cool going to a Council meeting and speaking. Their cooperation with each other and concern about their people was very impressive. Although they are in full support of us setting up the free clinic, we ran into some problems with the state Dept. of Health and Hospitals. We have to have their "blessing" in order to get licensure for our out-of-state docs and nurses and they are stonewalling us at the moment. It was very disappointing not to be able to see the clinic started. I am so grateful to the others on the team (Charles Beardsley from the Loudon Medical Group and Paula Buhr from MS Medical Assistance Team) who traveled from Leesburg, VA and Houston, TX to join me. We are, however not giving up just yet. Anyone interested in getting more details on this is welcome to email me.
Chief Brenda Dardar Robichaux, United Houma Nation
Council members expressed the need in their communities.
Here is where we went and what we distributed:
Waveland, MS - delivered the pet food that Cousins Properties donated to Suzie with the Humane Society of Hancock Co. We also delivered 2 large cages for her to use if she has to evacuate the next hurricane. She was VERY grateful. We are still collecting pet food and cages for her. Suzie gets up at midnight so that she can take care of her animals and go to work. She has maxed out all her credit cards to feed her animals. We are still collecting food and cages for her.
Suzie's animals are looking for a good home.
Her animals are well taken care of and beautiful
I don't think this cat wanted me to take a picture of his friend
Laura, Charles, Bow and Paula at the United Houma Nation Relief Center
NOLA - with the room we made dropping off Suzie's supplies, we picked up cleaning supplies (antibacterial wipes and mops) from the Salvation Army warehouse. Dropped off a box of diabetic test strips at Common Ground free clinic.
Houma, LA - met Charles, Bow and Paula
Dulac - dropped off: Approx. 10 boxes of canned goods 90 mop heads/ 20 mop sticks pallet of wipes pallet of sparkling water - anonymous donor 10 cases of water - we purchased
We drove around Montegut, Isle de Charles, Pointe au Chien, Cocodrie, and Chauvin. Visited Bayou Grace and the temporary FEMA center in Chauvin (for signing up not distribution).
Our most heart felt thanks to the people and employees of the groups who collected food for us. LuAnn Hearn - our volunteer food coord. from Katrina! The Bank of New York Mellon Trust Company Park Place Towers Energen/Energen Resources/Alagasco
and to Cheryl Simonetti and Sherry Scoggins for their cash donations!!
My humble apologies that I did not get the name of the person/group that dropped off the first 2 bags of food. Please let me know who you were.
Special thanks also to Kevin Christensen who lent us his truck and Dana Anderson who lent us someone else's trailer. :-) Laura
You can see how high the water got.
Large overturned boat blocking canal. Shrimpers Row.
Click on pictures below for captions.
To help us recover the cost of this trip (which can not come from CAP operating funds), please make a tax deductable donation payable to ONB/ CAP Disaster Fund and send it to CAP, 1704 5th Ave. North, Birmingham, AL 35203.
Don't forget, you can still drop off canned food at the CAP office!!