All Hands and Hearts helps out SWLA

All Hands and Hearts helps out SWLA

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - We’ve come a long way in the three weeks since Laura, but there is still a lot of work to be done.

All hands and hearts is a global organization that came to Southwest Louisiana after Hurricane Laura to lend a hand, and they are doing it one house at a time.

“All hands and hearts is a non-profit. We do international disaster response and recovery work,” said George Hernandez Mejia.

Volunteers come from all over the world to donate their time, helping local communities.

Mejia is the National Response Manager for All Hands and Hearts.

“We respond to natural disasters by providing chainsaw assistance, tarping assistance, some gutting assistance, and really anything we can do to help the community at hand.”

With the help of the National Civilian Community Corps, the All Hands and Hearts volunteers helped clear a tree from a driveway in North Lake Charles.

“Usually a tree like this would cost anywhere between $1,000 to $3,000 to get rid of. We provide the service for free with the expertise that comes with it.”

Its just one example of the many homes they have helped.

“People can’t live in these sorts of conditions, so we want to be able to give them that step forward toward recovery.”

One of the volunteers, Elise Oswald, says it means a lot to her, to be able to give back.

“Finally being able to be a part of helping the community is impactful not for just the community, but also for me.”

“With everything that’s going on in the world, the impacts of this hurricane itself was underreported, in my opinion. The traditional funding that we would get for a response like this isn’t there. The traditional interest of volunteer groups and people wanting to come out isn’t there," said Mejia. "And so for me, it’s very meaningful to come out here and still be able to do something because the community still needs it even if it isn’t being reported as much in the national news cycles.”

If you or someone you know needs a hand with house clean-up, you can find the All Hands and Hearts contact information here.

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