After historic flooding in south Louisiana last month in what’s been called the “1,000 Year Flood,” relief efforts have begun to help the hundreds of thousands of residents affected by the event. In response to the enormous need, two small business owners in the LA area have decided to team up to bring hope to victims of the flood.
Shanna Forrestall of LA Film Resources, a native of the devastated area, and Elida Tsou of Elida Designs, have partnered together for Project Hug Patrol, which brought gifts of hope, handwritten letters, gift cards, and custom Elida Designs jewelry to victims.
After returning from a personal holiday, Forrestall flew to Louisiana to see the devastation of her hometown personally and to dispense gifts of support to flood victims. She is currently committed to helping 25 families and is also securing corporate donations for distribution to those families as well as local agencies.
Shaklee Cares has just agreed to provide vitamin kits, dehydration kits, and cleaning supply kits to help her 25 families, she also secured makeup and toiletry gift bags provided by JC Penney’s Corporate and has a furniture design company who has just agreed to sponsor a family by providing them with furniture when their home is rebuilt.
Elida Designs has already established itself as a “cause based business” and owner and designer Elida Tsou has opened her heart to help Louisiana flood victims as well. Tsou is giving 15 percent of all orders directly to flood victims when purchasers use the promo code “Lafloodfoward” with their order (www.elidadesigns.com).
“I’ve always been inspired by compassion in times of need and the recent flooding in Louisiana is just another example of people helping people. Shanna and I are doing all we can to help with relief efforts, and we would encourage anyone – individual or business – to help as well. Recovery works best when we do it together,” says Tsou.
The 2016 Louisiana Flood was devastating, but the people and emergency response teams (police, fire, EMS) did an incredible job of emergency rescue. Over 20,000 people had to be emergency evacuated from their homes and only 13 lives were lost, compared to Hurricane Katrina where thousands of people died.
Amazed and inspired by the heart and spirits of Louisiana’s unsung heroes, Forrestall and Tsou have committed to continue providing assistance to their adopted families for the rest of 2016, as well as working towards large scale corporate donations to help many more.
“The need is going to continue for quite a while. Just last weekend I walked into houses still holding water, with six feet of water still in their backyard. Some of the families have been able to move forward with at least gutting their homes, but certain areas are not draining and these people are still experiencing flood conditions three to four weeks after the initial rains.
Recovery is going to be difficult. In the south, families tend to live near each other, so we’re seeing multiple family members losing their homes and possessions all at the same time. Also, many of these houses were not in flood zones, so the people do not have flood insurance. It will be years before this area is back to anywhere near normal. I know, after working with relief programs during Hurricane Katrina that a full recovery from an event of this kind includes physical, mental, emotional and financial support and I will do everything I can to help my Louisiana people in need,” says Forrestall.
For more information about how you can help relief efforts, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (310) 744-1598.