Help Louisiana victims recover from devastating flood!
Torrential rain in southern Louisiana last week led the American Red Cross to call the resulting flood the worst natural disaster since Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast in 2012. At PEACE Lutheran Church, we ask you to pray for victims and for those helping the clean-up and rebuilding.
Many needs exist, including prayers, financial donations and moral support. Links to those needs and how to donate are below.
The following reports come from news sources, Bishop Michael Rinehart of the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod and Sheryl Zeis, youth volunteer at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Baton Rouge.
What has happened:
- 115,000 people have applied for federal aid to rebuild, 40,000 homes damaged, 30,000 people rescued, 13 people dead, 14 looters arrested, nighttime curfew now in effect.
- By the end of August, the federal government had designated $127 million for temporary rental assistance, essential home repair and insurance payments. FEMA had distributed $20 million; and 40 highways remained closed.
- In at least 3 school districts, every single school flooded with 6-8 feet of water. In Baton Rouge, at least 6 schools have flood damage.
- One hospital & at least 5 nursing homes evacuated
- In Livingston Parish, more than 70% of homes hadflooded & schools were closed indefinitely.
- In the cities of Zachary, Baker and Central, nearly every home & business has some degree of water damage
- Few people had flood insurance (in some parishes about 12%). Neighborhoods that never expected flooding have water up to the roof lines.
- Water came up surprisingly quickly, catching people by surprise.
ELCA CONGREGATIONS affected by flooding
St. Paul Lutheran Church: 8710 Jefferson Highway, Baton Rouge, LA 70809-2233. St. Paul has 7-8 families in the congregation that were flooded. St. Paul also hosts Lutheran Campus Ministry at Louisiana State University. The church is housing & feeding 50 Red Cross staff & volunteers (see below).
Lutheran Church of Our Saviour: 3555 Jones Creek Road, Baton Rouge, LA 70816. Our Saviour has 14 families in the congregation who lost everything – about 10% of the congregation.
First Lutheran Church: 301 W Farrel Road, Lafayette, LA 70508. First Lutheran has 12 families in the congregation that were flooded.
St. Paul – working with First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) to house & feed Red Cross workers. A FEMA grant is being used to cook breakfast. They are asking for donations to cook dinners for anyone who wants/needs a hot meal.
Gulf Coast Synod Disaster Fund will help buy gift cards to buy home repair supplies and possibly a shower house for work groups housed at First Christian.
The synod is planning a Muck Out Day in Louisiana for Saturday, Aug. 27 – Please pray for all the volunteers and for their work to be fruitful. More info here.
Letters & cards of support can be directed to the individual churches above for delivery to affected families. They would do so much to lift people’s spirits as they rebuild. People feel they have been forgotten.
School supplies for students & teachers
You can send donations by check or online:
Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod Disaster Relief Fund
St. Paul Lutheran Church – to help buy supplies for meals and the food bank run at the church. Sheryl Zeis also is accepting checks mailed to St. Paul to buy school uniforms & supplies for students & teachers. Please make a note in memo line, or donate on the church website.
Society of St. Vincent de Paul – to help families replace school uniforms (children in public schools wear uniforms). $24 pays for 2 uniforms, which a child needs for daily use
Lutheran Campus Ministry @ LSU School Supply Drive — Families that didn’t need help with school supplies before the flood will need help now. Schools had been in session several weeks when flood hit. It’s not clear how long it will take to prepare classrooms for opening.
A Wish List for school supplies is on Amazon. Or, you can send a check to Lutheran Campus Ministry c/o St. Paul’s, address above. Write check to St. Paul’s & write “LCM” in the memo line.
Thank you for your caring heart!