Arts and Living Editor
After putting their own lives back together in the aftermath of Hurricane Laura, many Northwestern State University students and organizations have joined together to help a neighbor. They have gathered and brought donations of much-needed supplies to those in Lake Charles who have faced devastation.
Greek organizations across campus have used chapter funds and alumni donations to donate water, diapers, non-perishable food, cleaning supplies, tools, and many other needed items.
Jude Garrett, senior, traveled to Lake Charles with his fraternity, Pi Kappa Alpha. Upon arrival, Garrett first noticed the lack of power in Lake Charles, whereas Natchitoches had regained power the previous week.
“We, along with PIKE chapters from McNeese State, UL Lafayette, and LSU went from house to house to help clear debris and tarp houses,” said Garrett. “It was disheartening to see the help that the area of Lake Charles needed, but was not getting. The national media seemed to ignore what had happened.”
Sheridan Duet, junior, joined forces with her hometown of Chackbay through its local fire department to gather donations for Lake Charles.
Between all of the supplies and food donated, plus the hot meal served, Duet and those she donated with gave out about $15,000 worth of items to the people of Moss Bluff.
“We just kind of put the word out on social media that we were doing this, that we were collecting items,” Duet said. “The people in my hometown community came by the truckloads with items to bring, or if they didn’t have time to actually go shopping, they sent money, so we went out and bought the stuff for them.”
Kristen Prejean, senior, brought donations through Catholic Charities of Acadiana, which has partnered with Second Harvest. While in Lake Charles, Prejean observed the blue roofs, downed power lines, and houses knocked off of their foundations.
“I live so close to Lake Charles, because I’m originally from Lafayette, and I just knew I had to do something because it’s a category four,” Prejean said. “We ended up raising about, probably a total of a thousand dollars in donations. So I thought that was pretty good. It was just kind of one of those things where it was so close to home and I knew I had to do something.”
Despite facing a fair amount of damage itself, the Natchitoches community is doing what they can to provide aid to Lake Charles.
Hurricane relief information for Southwest Louisiana can be found at https://www.foundationswla.org/hurricane-relief