Local recovery effort aims to adopt families that lost homes due to Hurricane Laura

Published: Oct. 6, 2020 at 7:31 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - It’s pretty safe to say that the recovery process from the 2020 Hurricane Season is going to be a long one. After the devastation of Laura, the recovery process has begun slowly. Families in most cases have lost all of their personal belongings and homes.

An SWLA native is making a long-lasting attempt at giving those directly impacted by Hurricane Laura some normalcy by having willing families, agencies, businesses, and groups from around the region, and the country  “adopt” a Hurricane Laura family.

“It’s such a travesty, you know for Rita this didn’t happen. We had shelters open, parks open, and places to go. We have nothing now and people have nowhere to go," said Alicia Stanley.

Nearly a month and a half since Hurricane Laura and the struggles for many families still exist.

“Every story I’ve heard, I try not to cry talking to these families because it is so devastating," Stanley said.

When Stanley saw the damage left behind from Hurricane Laura and heard the stories of those making homes out of tents, she knew more needed to be done.

“One family I spoke to, they’re using a charcoal grill to cook during the day and a bucket to wash clothes...there’s a lot of stories like that.”

Sharing stories with the help of social media is whats helped kick off her latest idea to adopt local families still reeling from Laura’s aftermath.

“I just wrote something on Facebook asking for help and started getting all these donations. I set up a Venmo and people from all over the country still literally have no idea that this is even going on."

Through the help of a local Facebook page (Hurricane Laura Aftermath), Stanley says the demand for help is evident...with more than 100 families reaching out for assistance. Schools in Lafayette have also extended a helping hand with adopting families.

The Adopt-A-Family campaign is something I came up with and brought to some local schools here. St. Ignatius Catholic school is doing 3 families and Westminster Christian is doing 37 families!! I got all the families to apply through the Hurricane Laura Facebook page, I interviewed them and made flyers based on their families and stories. I’m meeting with the principal of both schools again tomorrow to finalize everything and assign each family a classroom. I’m very excited to help all these families! I still have so many families left. My next endeavor is to get more schools on board.

Hurricane Laura Recovery effort (Adopt-A-Family)
Hurricane Laura Recovery effort (Adopt-A-Family)(Alicia Stanley)

“Hopefully, in a couple of weeks, we can get supplies out to families,” Stanley said.

Seeing the devastation first hand in a year that has brought forth more uncertainty than promise, Stanley says it’s the community’s resilience that will be remembered over the storm.

“What’s making this disaster...what’s getting help to people is the community," Stanley said. "People loving people and caring about each other.”

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