LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - New help is on the way for those in North Lake Charles still struggling to recover from Hurricanes Laura and Delta.
This latest relief started as a mission for a Lake Charles native and Washington Marion High School graduate to give back to the North Lake Charles community.
Cambridge School Committee Vice Chair Manikka Bowman and racial justice educator Debby Irving, in collaboration with members of the Cambridge, MA community, launched the Hurricane Laura Fund to benefit North Lake Charles. Vice Chair Bowman is a former resident of Lake Charles, and he’s a Washington-Marion Magnet High School graduate.
The grassroots initiative was able to raise $16,000 for residents in North Lake Charles.
“We’re taking up the helm to provide for home first and sweep around our own front door,” said distributing partner Donald Thomas.
Thomas says getting the call to provide help to a community where he grew up means everything.
”It’s not to exclude any other part of the city, we just want to make that effort to communicate those things to the people we have. And just make a difference for the people in North Lake Charles,” Thomas said.
So far, he says the response to the fund has been overwhelming.
”So we created a google sign-up sheet, that was distributed through our social media outlets, and the first 160 people that responded qualified for the giveaway this weekend.”
With this being the first distribution event for the North Lake Charles Relief Fund, Thomas says they want to be able to provide more help down the road.
”We did make a call out to the corporate offices of Target. We used Target as the source of the giveaway. We’re asking them to match our donations as well as reaching out to some of our community partners to continue this effort,” said Thomas.
He says they’ve already reached out to recipients for this current round of funding. Funds will be distributed in the form of $100 gift cards only to those who filled out a form.
The Black Heritage Festival and Gallery of Louisiana will distribute all resources associated with the North Lake Charles Hurricane Relief Fund.
Click HERE to find out about future relief efforts.