Heavy rains that began on August 11 and continued through the weekend have caused historic flooding in south Louisiana, especially around the Baton Rouge area. By Monday morning, more than 20,000 residents had evacuated their homes. Among those who have evacuated are 27 families from First Christian Church, Baton Rouge.
According to Rev. David Chisham, pastor of FCCBR, no in-kind donations are needed at this moment. Instead, we encourage financial gifts, which can be used to meet immediate needs as they arise. As the church prepares to be a host site in partnership with the Red Cross, they are organizing volunteers for food prep, janitorial support, and laundry service.
Week of Compassion has been in regular contact with Rev. Chisham and Regional Minister, Rev. Nadine Burton. We have provided a grant to help meet the immediate needs of evacuees and will offer additional support as the extent of the damage becomes clear. Rev. Chisham told Week of Compassion Associate Director, Rev. Caroline Hamilton-Arnold: "The numbers of those affected continues to rise as the mass of water moves south. Houses that were dry one day are full of water the next. We look forward to supporting our greater community, and God has been faithful in providing resources for us to respond to the need."
Additionally, with support from Week of Compassion, Children’s Disaster Services is deploying two teams of specialists to Baton Rouge. CDS associate director Kathy Fry-Miller reports: "They will be able to care for evacuated children in two shelters.”
To support flood relief in Louisiana, donate online by clicking here and designate your gift for US Storms and Fires.
Update on Flint, MI
This past Sunday marked the expiration of the federal emergency declaration in Flint, which means the end of financial support from FEMA for bottled water, filters, and other items needed to deal with lead contamination in the water. State and local officials have assured residents that services - including distribution of water and filters and health and nutrition programs - will continue, with the state bearing the costs. Flint Mayor, Karen Weaver, said in an interview with NPR that while progress has been made, "we still can't drink the water." In addition, highlighting positive steps such as employment and apprenticeship opportunities, she also spoke about the need to rebuild community trust alongside infrastructure. While the precise effects of the emergency declaration expiration are as yet unclear, what is unquestionable is that the recovery in Flint will be a long road.
As the city prepares for the change, Week of Compassion has been in contact with local pastors and is on hand to help address needs as they are identified. Your involvement is still important for the people of Flint. Offer your prayers for the health and healing of the community; lend your voice to keep city, state, and federal officials accountable to provide the funds they have committed; and give of your financial resources.
As always, we are grateful for your generosity and partnership.
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