Is Your School Looking for a Way to Help the Louisiana Flood Relief Efforts?

American red cross clothing donations

Red Cross Pickup locations across Texas and Northern Louisiana are busier than normal. Recent articles about the strain of school districts to get students back to class in the southern part of Louisiana have encouraged local residents to do what they can to help the flood relief efforts. With more than a year’s worth of rain in a two day period in Baton Rouge and other locations, Red Cross Pickup locations have been accepting monetary donations, clothing donations, and backpacks and school supplies. As teachers who themselves may be displaced by floodwaters try to prepare to clean up and open classrooms, many churches and businesses have become centers for used clothing donations and other necessities.
Some data indicates that as many as 10% of the teachers in the affected areas have lost their homes. As a result, some local residents are doing what they can to gather needed services and supplies specifically for local school teachers. Some people, in fact, are traveling in and out of the affected areas, picking up laundry, washing those items, and returning the wearable clothing the next day.
Red Cross Pickup Centers Collect Items That May Help Schools Provide Students with Needed Materials
And while some are attending to the personal needs of educators who are flood victims, others are encouraging Red Cross Pickup locations to be on of the places where needed materials can be collected. On a Morning Edition program on National Public Radio (NPR) last week, one very personal story was told.
A librarian from the Baton Rouge Baker High School explained that once he finally got into the building some students helped him pump as much as a foot of water out of the library that he has overseen for a decade. After a brief time, however, the health inspectors labeled the location as too toxic and asked everyone to get out. This school not only lost the entire book collection, they also lost 20 computers. These computers were especially valuable tools at a school where 90% of the students qualify for free or reduced lunches. The librarian reported that he is not sure where the district will find the funds to replace the lost items. He is, however, grateful that the high school’s 400 students will be relocated to a middle school building, hopefully resuming classes sometime this week.
In a month when many students around the nation are groaning the return to day after day of classes and homework, the librarian interviewed on NPR indicated that these Baton Rouge students will likely be thankful for any kind of normal routine, even if it involves homework.
Have You Considered How You Can Help?
Whether you decide to donate clothes, donate cash, or donate other requested items, this historic Louisiana flood recovery effort is going to take more than federal money. In fact, President Obama’s visit indicated as much. With a plea for every American to consider what they can do to help, Obama requested all citizens who are able visit one of the federal websites to donate needed funds. American Red Cross donations, according to a spokesperson for the organization, were able to meet the first round of needs, but the donations to that website are lower than what they need to continue to meet the increasing needs of families, individuals, and schools.
Although the catch phrase 24/7 may be something that most Americans have only been using for the last decade when they talk about their constant contact with work, the American Red Cross has long been a 24/7 organization. In fact, for 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, the American Red Cross provides relief for families and communities with blankets, food, blood, and shelter. And while today’s attention may be on the Louisiana flood victims, the Red Cross organization also continues to serve others across the country as well.
In fact, the American National Red Cross is the 13th largest American charity as ranked by private donations. In the year 2014, for instance, they received $687 million in private donations. These funds, however, go quickly in the wake of a natural disaster. Are you part of the 70% of Americans who donate to a charity every year? If not, now is the time.

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