Southeastern Louisiana was battered by historic rainfall over the weekend — over 24 inches fell across the region — that left much of Baton Rouge, Florida, and Lafayette parishes flooded to catastrophic levels. On Saturday, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency and deployed the National Guard to assist with search and rescue efforts. As many as 20,000 people were rescued from their homes over the weekend, and approximately 10,000 people stayed in shelters overnight Sunday, according to The Times-Picayune. With such widespread damage and so many displaced residents, many want to know how to help the Louisiana flooding victims, whether you're local to the area or wish to help from afar.
Several national relief organizations such as the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army are providing relief efforts in the region, as well as several local organizations, churches, and other community groups with boots on the ground. Speaking to Romper, Holley Payne, membership manager of the Junior League of New Orleans, spoke to the importance of helping the flood victims: "They helped us during Katrina and now it's our turn. All those parishes rallied for us, and now we're rallying for them. That's just what you do." Whether it's donating funds, diapers and clean clothes, or even donating your time — if you're so able — there are a variety of ways to help the Louisiana flooding victims that can best fit your level of volunteering.
Donating Money To Relief Groups
For those who wish to help out the victims by donating funds to relief efforts, there are a number of funds and charities that have been set up in the wake of this weekend's flooding.
- You can donate to the American Red Cross by text message when you text LAFLOODS to 90999. With just one text, you can donate $10; you can also give other amounts by donating to the American Red Cross online.
- The Salvation Army is accepting donations for Baton Rouge flooding victims at their website.
- The Baton Rouge Rho Epsilon chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. has a GoFundMe page set up to help families and students affected by the floods in Louisiana. The hope to give $500 to each family and are hoping to reach an overall goal of $10,000.
- The Second Harvest Food Bank of Southern Louisiana is accepting donations online to help support their efforts to donate thousands of pounds of food and water to flood victims.
- Local grocery store chain Rouses Markets is accepting cash donations and non-perishable canned goods at cash registers in the checkout line; funds will go to the Second Harvest Food Bank.
Donating In-Kind Goods & Supplies
Thousands of Baton Rouge residents have lost everything in the floods from this weekend. Here's how you can donate to local groups and organizations accepting in-kind goods and supplies.
- The Junior League of New Orleans is currently accepting donations, with an emphasis on supplies for women and children, including Target and Walmart gift cards in $20 amounts, diapers in all size,; and feminine hygiene products. Goods can be dropped off to their office during regular business hours Monday through Friday, or may be shipped to: 4319 Carondelet Street, New Orleans, Louisiana 70115.
- Locally-made handbag and accessory company Tchoup Industries is collecting donations at several local area businesses in New Orleans, including: Church Alley & The Good Shop, Dashing Bicycles, Balance Yga, Solo Espresso, Dirty Coast (Uptown and Marigny), Cane & Table. See more information at Tchoup's Instagram post about donations for flood victims.
- The Celtic Media Centre is currently acting as a temporary shelter housing evacuees and needs items such as pillows, chairs, blankets and anything people can sit on, as the facility has concrete floors. They are also collecting supplies for pets. Donations can be dropped off at 10000 Celtic Drive in Baton Rouge.
Donating Your Time For People & Pets
- If you're able to donate your time and help out the Red Cross, you can call 855-489-2528 or visit volunteerlouisiana.gov to find specific on the ground volunteer opportunities in Baton Rouge. Interested volunteers are reminded not to self deploy to affected areas and should work with registered groups.
- Animal Rescue of New Orleans is in need of foster homes for cats and dogs displaced by the Baton Rouge floods; cat fosters are especially needed. Interested volunteers should contact Ginnie at 504-669-1908 or Kathy at 504-717-0614. All interested foster owners must be 21 years or older and fill out a Denham Springs Animal Shelter Foster Application online; these applications are being processed quickly by ARNO.