Monday, September 26, 2005

VOA in North Louisiana

News from Volunteers of America in North Louisiana: Volunteers of America Greater New Orleans evacuees As you may recall, Yuleton Mendoza, his wife Casey, son Devon and four Volunteers of America Greater New Orleans clients have been with us now since they evacuated the Saturday prior to Katrina making landfall. We first found out about them when they were all crowded into the only room they could find, a Motel 6, in Bossier City, with one King Sized Bed. We immediately reached out to them and brought them into our Magnolia House facility. Now, they are preparing this week to leave us and to return to New Orleans. We wish them well. While here, Martin, one of the clients with Mental Retardation, Alzheimer's and a feeding tube, acquired a much needed wheelchair and medical bed. This was a true blessing for Martin and could not be left behind. So Yuleton found a van while here and bought it for $800 so that he could take back Martin's wheelchair and medical bed. He has also coordinated donations of furniture, a refrigerator, washer, and dryer with Kings Hwy Christian Church. With all of these treasures to get home, he rented a Uhaul trailer and put a hitch on the van to haul it all. On top of that, the van needed a new AC so he found a AC mechanic in Taylortown of all places who is donating all of the labor costs in fixing the AC unit in the van. This story is a true testament to the welcoming,caring community of friends they met while here in Shreveport. They are very thankful and appreciative of everyone that helped them during this very traumatic time in their lives. We thank you because your donations made much of this possible for all of these very deserving, special needs people. Our group of 31 This group, also from Volunteers of America Greater New Orleans, arrived on our doorstep exhausted, hot and hungry Friday evening after a 2 1/2 day caravan trip from Houston to Shreveport in that horrendous traffic. They have been cared for extremely well while here just a few short days. St. Mark's Episcopal, Lakeview Methodist and Noel Methodist, all provided food, support, clothing and supplies to care for them while our volunteer, Robert Baucum, prepared wonderful meals and treats. They will continue to be served by us but are moving to Monroe where Judith and her staff will be instrumental in caring for them. We learned when they arrived that they wanted to get to Monroe where they could join other Volunteers of America Greater New Orleans staff and clients. After tonight's move, they hope this is the last one until it is time to return to New Orleans. We'll keep you posted on their progress as we continue to serve them. Good News! We received $25,000 today to help with our Katrina and Rita evacuee Needs. One gift, $15,000, was from the Community Foundation of Shreveport-Bossier City and the other was from a wonderful local foundation. These gifts were greatly needed to help with the unanticipated costs of serving our evacuees. Please forward this email to anyone that might be interested in supporting our efforts and learning about the people we are serving! Thanks. All of these services described above (and so much more) are being provided thanks to local contributions. We are still in need of cash contributions. We can take, cash, checks, Visa, MasterCard and even gifts of stock. Thank you for your support! Our Mailing address is: Volunteers of America of North Louisiana 360 Jordan Street Shreveport, Louisiana 71101 P.S. I received this information in an email from the City this afternoon-- Local [Shreveport-Bossier City/NWLA] shelter populations are again at nearly overflow capacity. Shelters in south Louisiana that had to evacuate in the face of hurricane Rita transported hundreds to the Shreveport-Bossier area. As of 9:00 a.m. today, Hirsch Coliseum was at 1200, CenturyTel at 1100, Expo Hall at 860, Southern University-400 and the special needs shelter at Bossier Civic Center, 100. Lisa Brandeburg Vice President of Communications and Development Volunteers of America of North Louisiana 318-221-2669 Ext 205