Shreveport Volunteer Network taking hundreds of donated items to southeast Louisiana

Published: Sep. 3, 2021 at 10:12 PM CDT
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SHREVEPORT-BOSSIER CITY, La. (KSLA) - The Shreveport Volunteer Network has spent the last week down in southeast Louisiana helping agencies clear the roadways, as well as aid locals in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.

Tommy Giles, executive director of SVN, says he still hasn’t had time to process what he’s seen.

“They lost everything,” Giles said. “Some houses were flipped into the bayou, like the whole house. There’s a lot of people who stayed that wished they had left.”

He and several other volunteers made the decision to head down south as Hurricane Ida was making landfall on Sunday. They stayed in East Baton Rouge Parish until the storm passed.

“We brought some supplies to the united Cajun Navy and we bunkered down,” Giles said. “They shut down all the roads because of the high winds. We went through the eye of it. Once it blew over, within four hours we went to Thibadoux. We cut about ten trees on the way there. It was four in the morning at that point. It was a long night. We ended up clearing about 80-90% of the parish roads within the first three days.”

It’s something that Louisianans do after the storm: come together.

Darrell Chitty was raised in Houma. Although he has lived in northwest Louisiana for the last few decades, he still has family and friends down south. He says he is going to deliver items to them next week.

“I’ll go in Monday with water and with gas,” Chitty said. “That’s the things they need more than anything right now. They don’t have either.”

Although the storm hit them harder than they expected, he said they are strong.

“They are very resilient people. It’s amazing what they are going through right now, but if you talk to them, they say they are going to get through it and bounce back from it. That’s the way it is.”

Chitty said he will take multiple trips to southeast Louisiana to bring his friends and family things they need.

The Shreveport Volunteer Network put the word out on what items were needed, and the northwest Louisiana community delivered.

Giles goes back tomorrow with a trailer full with baby wipes, water, toiletries and more items that have been collected over the last few days.

He said they will stay down there for as long as they’re needed.

Some of the urgent items needed are water, chainsaws and chainsaw supplies, toiletries, bug spray, gas cans, gas cards, Ziplocs, and flashlights.

If you want to donate items, you can drop them off at The Stable (2195 Swan Lake Road in Bossier City) or Summer Grove Baptist Church in Shreveport, at their warehouse located at the back of the church to the right of Burlington weekdays from 5-7 pm.

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