Residents of the parish are being encouraged to join the relief effort for Puerto Rico. The island was devastated by hurricane Maria.
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has directed the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) to lead a statewide donation drive to help Hurricane Maria survivors in Puerto Rico. Maria’s hurricane force winds whipped through the island and knocked out most forms of communication, while heavy rain caused severe flooding and has put a major dam at risk of failure. Thousands have been left without power or access to basic survival provisions like food, water and medication.
Shane G. Hubbard, Director Red River Parish Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness is asking local residents to help. Hubbard said, “The Governor has asked each parish to help with the collection of the items listed below in Puerto Rico’s time of need.”
The drop off point for Red River Parish will be at Central Fire Station between the hours of 8:00am till 5:00pm. The point of contact will be Cyndy Freeman. Call her at (318)932-6676 or bring items to Central Fire Station. Also all items should be new and in original unopened box or container.
“We must work together during these difficult times to help those in great need,” said Gov. Edwards. “Puerto Rican officials say the island is on the brink of a humanitarian crisis if help does not arrive soon. I am asking everyone in Louisiana who can to once again support those facing tremendous adversity. We know how difficult the long road to recovery can be. We are looking for basic items to help the people of Puerto Rico begin that process.”
The items will be collected through Wednesday, October 11:
• Non-perishable formula
• Baby wipes
• Bottles and nipples
• Feminine care products
It is important to only donate the items on the list. Donation drives, at times, can cause more burden for a disaster area if a planned system is not used from start to finish. Keeping the initial statewide drive limited to specific items will make shipping the donations easier and will speed the delivery of the items to the people of Puerto Rico.
A news release from state officials said, “The Louisiana Army National Guard (LANG) will handle collecting the donated items and transporting them to Puerto Rico. LANG has previously helped with this type of drive after Hurricane Mitch devastated Central America.”