Wednesday, September 07, 2005

VOA update from North LA

Here's an update from Volunteers of America regarding relief efforts. Please note this post contains specific requests for help. -- Our relief efforts continue to unfold in many different ways. Below you will find information on what is being done and what still needs to be done. Please forward this to anyone. An email was sent by our adoption supervisor, Richard Caffarel, here in Shreveport to a Judge in South Louisiana... "I'm trying to see if I can reach you on behalf of our Volunteers of America office in New Orleans (Metairie). I've been in touch with my counterpart in that office. They have 2 babies in temporary family (foster) care. One family evacuated to Baton Rouge and the other to Monroe. Both families are very stressed, and we (VOA North Louisiana) will probably put the babies in our family care homes in Shreveport/Alexandria later this week." He goes on to write asking that the judge issue an order or statement allowing Volunteers of America authorization to care for these babies until their birthmothers can be found. Both birthmothers had signed releases authorizing Volunteers of America Greater New Orleans to provide care but both will expire within the next week and the babies need to be in care. Shannon Smith, LCSW, provided counseling to a mother and child, both evacuees staying in our Highland Center. They had lost everything and needed someone to talk to about their experience and sense of loss. Leon Bain, put us in touch with Dr.Brigham who agreed to see the adult in pain and needing a dentist. We do have one additional person needing a filling replaced. Reverend M L Agnew, from St. Mark's Episcopal, came by the Highland Center this morning with several of his phenomenal team. They brought dinner for this evening. They also committed to serving dinner three nights per week as long as our evacuee's/guests are with us. Skip Simonton (one terrific lady!) also agreed to provide snacks and breakfast type items for the weekends. So, between Noel and St. Mark's, our meals are covered. We have a guest/evacuee and her 6 year old daughter that will be moving to Houston. She is an x-ray technician and will be going to work in Houston at the VA Medical Center. We need to know if someone will provide transportation or a bus ticket for them to Houston. Mr. Franklin Alexander is one of our guests/evacuee's at the Highland Center. He formerly worked for Memorial Medical Center, the Baptist campus in New Orleans. He was an operating room assistant for surgery. He is seeking employment here (and then we will be working on housing). Contact Mr. Alexander through Brandy, 221-8404 Ext 318. We want to thank Becky Cooksey, Mary Harris and Tommy Berry for working all day to sort donated items at the Volunteers of America Highland Center. The sorting took place in the Sanctuary. Becky writes, We boxed toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, shampoo, etc separately. We then separated by pew toilet paper, paper plates, paper towels, utensils etc by pew. I put labels on each pew. We got everything pretty much separated except for clothing, bedding and infant. These things are consolidated on the same pew just not separate. Anyone wishing to help Becky finish this job, please call her at 865-7020. She estimates about 2 more hours of work. Cash donations are needed for many emergency expenses and can be mailed to Volunteers of America of North Louisiana, 360 Jordan Street, Shreveport, La 71101. Katrina can be written in the memo. Many thanks to everyone offering assistance. Lisa Lisa Brandeburg Vice President of Communications and Development Volunteers of America of North Louisiana 318-221-2669 Ext 205 www.voanorthla.org