HOPE worldwide volunteers gathered in Baton Rouge Louisiana over Labor Day Weekend to help victims of the recent floods which devastated areas of Southeast Louisiana. The catastrophic floods, being called the worst U.S. disaster since Hurricane Sandy, claimed 13 lives and destroyed numerous homes and communities - resulting in upwards of 100,000 homes being damaged.
Along with our partner Operation Blessing, about 140 HOPE worldwide volunteers gathered from over six states in Durham Springs, Louisiana offering much-needed helping hands to people whose homes were ruined, many of whom lost all their possessions. The eager volunteers came with willing hearts and able bodies to do physical labor for people who just couldn’t do it alone. They gutted homes — clearing out furniture, electronics, dry wall, and carpets — emptying homes of all contents ruined by flood waters. Neighborhoods in the affected areas were left with both sides of the street lined with large piles of debris — moldy mountains of personal effects, signs of the long road to recovery for many famililes.
It was moving for residents and volunteers alike who witnessed the power of people coming together despite differences in the face of tragedy. Wade Cook, VP of US programs, himself an eager volunteer, said, “Weather doesn’t discriminate and neither do people when tragedy strikes. The spirit everywhere was one of unity. The only questions we asked were 'Are you flooded and in need?' If so, you are Louisiana!"
For a more vivid depiction of what happened during the ‘Labor of Love’ weekend watch the inspiring video update created by HOPE worldwide media partner ICOC Hot News.