LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - As a non-profit organization, Big Brothers Big Sisters relies heavily on events and fundraisers. This year has already taken a toll on our local chapter and after Hurricane Laura, they need as much help as they can get.
It may be hard to tell from the outside, but the Executive Director for Big Brother Big Sisters of Southwest Louisiana, Erin Davison, says the building received tremendous damage from Hurricane Laura.
"Severe wind and water damage, all new doors, exterior doors have to be replaced. We have to have all new flooring, contents were damaged, our gym has to be completely rebuilt and reinstalled and so the damage was more extensive than I thought.
As cleanup and rebuilding begins, years of memories sit in trash bags out front. Davison says recovery could take anywhere from six months to a year.
After dealing with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and now the aftermath of Laura. She believes the organization is taking a huge financial hit as well.
“Estimation right now of loss of income for fundraising is about 400-thousand dollars in the next 12 to 18 months, which means our entire operating budget is at risk.”
But the devastation hasn’t deterred BBBS from their mission.
According to Davison, although many Bigs and Littles are displaced and separated right now, BBBS Southwest Louisiana is working to make sure the mentoring and support continue through this challenging time.
“We are not going anywhere, were going to continue to serve our community. Were going to continue to support and enroll and match Littles and that hasn’t stopped.”
Davison says any little bit can help. To donate or for more information on how you can volunteer, head to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Louisiana on Facebook.