By Paul Dauphin
It’s being called Louisiana’s Great Flood of 2016. In August, the Baton Rouge area was inundated by a historic rain event. The rain began falling on a Thursday morning and it seemed it would never stop.
After three days and 25 inches of rain, more than 146,000 homes were flooded.
The timing of the flood could not have been worse for parents, including those with children enrolled in the Louisiana Scholarship Program. Many families lost their homes. With the new school year just underway, most needed to replace personal belongings, including newly purchased school supplies and uniforms.
The American Federation for Children established a Disaster Relief Fund to assist Louisiana Scholarship Program families with the difficult task of rebuilding their lives.
Russell Marino, executive director of Hosanna Christian Academy in Baton Rouge, said the flood was yet another tragic event for the community following the shooting deaths of Alton Sterling and three Baton Rouge police officers in July.
“There were a lot of difficult things that you saw in the news. But yet, when the floods came, people united. People started helping people,” said Marino, who accepted the donation on behalf of Hosanna’s students and families.
Marino is thankful for the donations made through the AFC Disaster Relief Fund. “Thank you all so much. These gifts will be very selectively put in the hands of parents of these children who need that blessing.”
“It is the least we can do to help students and families who are beginning the difficult task of rebuilding their lives,” said Ann Duplessis, president of the Louisiana Federation for Children.
Donations to the AFC Disaster Relief Fund provided more than $25,000 in gift cards and certificates that are providing uniforms and school supplies to 400 children at impacted Louisiana Scholarship Program schools.