On February 7th, a powerful tornado touched down in the New Orleans East neighborhood damaging homes and businesses, injuring several dozen people. and leaving thousands without power. This area was also severely damaged by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and since then we have had an ongoing relationship with the neighborhood and New Salem Baptist Church providing support in many forms. You can read about our history in New Orleans here.
Our goal is to raise funds for people that have been affected specifically homes of elderly and physically disabled parishioners that Pastor Jones identified as needing assistance.
After speaking with Pastor Jones of the New Salem Baptist Church this week, he told us that they are finding that many of the homes are not safe to work in because of the extensive damage. Tornado damage is not like flood damage in as much as the structural damage is more extensive and much of the cleanup is now being done by professionals. Pastor Jones shared a couple of stories that are representative of the struggles of people who are elderly and physically disabled who are displaced from their homes.
The church secretary’s mother is in her late 80s. She uses a wheelchair and was fortunate that an aid was with her when the tornado hit. They moved to an inside room and were safe when the tornado directly hit the home, taking off the roof and damaging the outside walls. This woman is currently staying at the Sheridan Hotel which has taken in people affected by the tornado. Unfortunately, the hotel is booked during the next few weeks because of Mardi Gras and the NBA All Star Game. In addition to the lack of availability of hotel rooms, there are also issues with cost. During Mardi Gras the cost of hotels triples, forcing victims to seek alternatives. Although there are shelters in the area, they are not accessible for people who have physical disabilities.
Another elderly parishioner is in similar circumstances. He is limited by his disability and will be unable to return to his home for several months. Both of these people were also affected by Hurricane Katrina as were many others in the path of the tornado.
We are focusing our efforts to raise funds to provide temporary housing for these elderly people with physical disabilities. Pastor Jones will directly administer any cash donations according to our instructions. Please support this effort by making a gift HERE. A gift of any size is greatly appreciated.
And remember, when you make your gift, please share this message with your friends on Facebook.