Friday, August 31st
Members of the Tuscaloosa office departed for New Orleans to aid in disaster relief due to Hurricane Isaac.
After arriving in New Orleans, they helped unload a truck full of water, ice and Meals Ready to Eat (MRE’s) from the New Orleans Fire Department at First Street United Methodist Church. Shane Dockery and Chris Scotland, USRP staff, went with Bro. Sweetwine of First Street UMC to distribute these items to congregation members and elderly members of the neighborhood.
Our home base at First Street United Methodist sustained minimal damage and for that we are thankful.
Saturday, September 1st
United Saints staff and volunteers unloaded donations from two box trucks that came from the United Methodist Committee on Relief based in Baldwin, La. They delivered six generators; nearly 750 household cleaning buckets (containing: dish soap, sponges, paper towels, all purpose cleaner, scrub brush and bleach); about 150 cases of hygiene kits (containing: a washcloth and towel, toothpaste, toothbrush, bar of soap, band aids and lotion); 15 cases of school kits (containing: a tote bag, loose-leaf paper, pencils, ruler, crayons, pens and a glue stick); and 50 cases of MREs. Chris and Marie, along with Bro. Sweetwine delivered about 50 bags of ice, 15 cases of water, 50 hygiene kits and several cases of MREs to the neighborhood.
Sunday, September 2nd
First Street United Methodist Church distributed about 250 of the cleaning buckets, 100 cases of MREs, ten cases of the school kits and 50 boxes of the hygiene kits. The church ladies also provided a hot meal for the congregation and community, the first meal many of them had had since Tuesday morning when the neighborhood lost power. They made red beans and rice, spaghetti, beef and mac, sweet corn, and cake for dessert.
The Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans and Acadiana also came with a truck full of hot meals; and Whole Foods donated several loaves of bread. Two USRP staff noted that the local Walmart was completely out of meat, cheese and bread and that many gas stations in town were closed as well.
Other USRP staff laid tar paper down on the damaged parts of the apartment roof at our home base in order to prevent anymore water from coming in the volunteer housing and church building, as well as patched the tool shed fence that sustained some damage.
Monday, September 3rd
United Saints started distributing meals to the flood areas such as Plaquemine, La. They also visited Chase Bank on St. Charles. Chase was giving away free hot dogs and wind-up flashlight radios to everyone. The bank has been open all weekend to assist customers, seeing as it has been one of the few places with a functioning ATM.
Marie and Katie worked on the volunteer side of things and looked more at what our response might look like into the harder hit areas of LaPlace, Plaquemines, Slidel and St. Bernard.
More updates are on their way from New Orleans, so stay tuned!
Our greatest needs at the moment our monetary donations and interested volunteers. Donations can be made through our website, simply click the “donate now” button at the top of your screen. Volunteers can sign up through clicking this link