Gonzales, LA (September 9, 2021) – While service delivery continues throughout impacted communities in Louisiana after Hurricane Ida, The Salvation Army Texas Incident Management Team (IMT) is focusing on reaching some of the hardest hit southern Bayou communities. While visiting affected areas on Wednesday, Salvation Army staff met a young lady who is doing incredible work supporting recovery efforts in her community.
Lindsey Dupre is 19 years old. She is a volunteer firefighter in Point Au Chene, LA, running emergency calls for the area, while studying nursing with the goal to eventually work with Arcadian Ambulance. Since Hurricane Ida tore through the region, Lindsey has been tirelessly working to help her neighbors and community.
“The Fire Chief told us the storm was going to be a bad one, so we evacuated on Saturday before Hurricane Ida made landfall,” said Lindsey. “We drove to Sulphur, LA, and didn’t come back until Friday. On Monday morning I started working to get help for our community and establish a distribution point for people in Point Au Chene and the other bayou communities down here.”
The fire station was significantly damaged by the hurricane, and the Fire Chief said that Lindsey could set up the distribution in front of the station which is next door to her family’s home. “I decided I would do this for my community and just told myself I could make it happen,” said Lindsey.
Alvin Migues and Kathleen Kouns from The Salvation Army Texas IMT continued needs assessment in affected areas on Wednesday. Managing a fleet of 18 mobile feeding units delivering hot meals, water, and emotional and spiritual care into the region, the pair met Lindsey in Point Au Chene. “Our team has begun to focus its relief efforts on small southern bayou communities that were unable to receive emergency assistance due to impassable roadways and no power,” said Kouns, Long Term Recovery Program Manager for The Salvation Army in Texas. “As cellphone and internet service has improved, we’ve been able to connect with locals like Lindsey, asses their needs, and deliver relief items into the heart of these communities.”
A box truck from The Salvation Army pulled into Point Au Chene on Thursday, loaded with pallets of water, cleanup kits, hygiene kits, tarps, and food boxes provided by Midwest Food Bank, a long-time disaster partner. Staff were even able to secure pet food to be distributed by volunteers, coordinated by Lindsey.
“The Salvation Army came back, just like they said they would. The need is great and the further you drive the more devastation there is,” said Lindsey. “There are Indian tribes living further down the bayou and they have been hit really hard and are looking to us for help. I’d like to thank The Salvation Army for recognizing our small community. We wouldn’t have important items like the cleanup kits, tarps, or food boxes without them. It’s really a massive help.”
Information is slow to reach and make it out of this area of Louisiana which has not received any media coverage related to storm damage. “One of the major challenges has been letting those who want to help know about the needs and challenges down here,” said Lindsey. “That’s what makes it all the more amazing to me that The Salvation Army reached out and arrived with support today.”
Only a few miles away, at South Terrebone High School where Lindsey helps teach band, The Salvation Army will provide a three-day distribution of clean up kits, food boxes, baby supplies, water (Primo Purified Water 2.6 gallons), hygiene kits, and PepsiCo Breakfast Boxes. The distribution, targeted specifically for those living in southern Bayou communities, is located at 3879 LA-24, Bourg, LA, 70343 and will be open beginning Thursday, September 9, through Saturday, September 11, from 9 AM-1 PM daily. A mobile feeding unit will also be stationed at the High School serving hot meals.
The Salvation Army continues to reach into hard-hit southern Louisiana Bayou communities. On Wednesday, mobile units will be serving in Hammond, Houma, Bourg, Golden Meadow, Gray, Lockport, Dulac, Albany, LaPlace, Chauvin, Bayou Blue, Cut Off, Larose, Galliano, Monagut, and Point Au Chene. Service addresses can be found at https://disaster.salvationarmyusa.org/aboutus/?IdaFacts.
The mobile units from the Gonzales IMT have served 132,389 meals, 84,805 drinks, and 30,150 snacks, making 7,263 emotional and spiritual care contacts since 8/31/21. The Salvation Army has served 233,294 meals, 141,053 drinks, and 57,128 snacks, across the state in response to Hurricane Ida.
Many people visited the distribution site in Point Au Chene on Wednesday, collecting items and receiving a hot meal. “Lindsey is an amazing young lady and is accomplishing great things, dramatically impacting lives in her community and beyond,” said Kouns. “The Salvation Army is committed to reaching underserved, hard-hit communities, just like Point Au Chene, as we work to deliver physical, emotional, and spiritual support to those affected by Hurricane Ida.”
To make a financial donation to support ongoing Hurricane Ida relief efforts, go to helpsalvationarmy.org or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY. For the latest disaster response information, go to www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org and watch for regular updates on our social media pages at www.facebook.com/salvationarmytexas/ and www.twitter.com/salarmytx
About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for 130 years in the United States. Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. 82 cents of every dollar spent is used to carry out those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to www.salvationarmyusa.org.