The Fuller Center was recently alerted to a YouTube video that has been seen nearly 20,000 times and provides some of the best footage from the flooding in Livingston Parish, which is where the Fuller Center Disaster ReBuilders have established a base to help families recover from the disaster that struck last summer.
The video above features many scenes from the flooding and features interviews with many affected residents, including actor/director John Schneider (“Dukes of Hazzard,” “Smallville”), who lives in Livingston Parish and has a production studio there. As he states in the video:
“That’s how God works. God sends people — people who care.” — John Schneider, actor/producer/director and Livingston Parish resident
Also in the video, you can see people wearing “This is church” T-shirts. These come from one of our church partners on the ground — Christ Community Church of Denham Springs.
Every time there is a natural disaster — here in the United States or elsewhere — generous Americans rise to the occasion to help through volunteering and/or donating toward nonprofits who are dedicated to helping families recover.
Unfortunately, every time, there are a handful of scam artists and other unscrupulous people who pounce on the opportunity to take advantage of that good will to enrich themselves.
“There are several helpful resources that will help you verify the existence of a charity and make sure your contribution will reach Louisiana’s flood victims in a meaningful way.” — Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp
“When a catastrophe of this nature occurs, con artists seize the opportunity to prey on donors by holding themselves out as legitimate charitable organizations,” Secretary Kemp stated in the release. “Do not be fooled by these scams. There are several helpful resources that will help you verify the existence of a charity and make sure your contribution will reach Louisiana’s flood victims in a meaningful way.”
We encourage you to examine nonprofits closely before you give — and we invite you to take a closer look at The Fuller Center for Housing, which has two covenant partners in flooded areas of Louisiana already busy helping residents pick up the pieces from this month’s disaster.
Earlier this year in March, Ginger Ford Northshore Fuller Center for Housing Executive Director Tamara Danel reported that flooding in southern Louisiana — including in Tangipahoa Parish where her covenant partner is based — was the worst the lifelong Louisianan had seen in her lifetime.
“I think there’s a lot of shock and a lot of post-traumatic stress disorder right now,” Danel said Thursday of residents dealing with two floods of historic proportion in the span of just a few months. “Everybody’s still in shock and disbelief and overwhelmed.”
Danel said Ginger Ford Northshore is working closely with Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, which is mucking out the soggy homes and clearing the way for The Fuller Center and others to follow with repairs. She added that the Ginger Ford Northshore’s main targets for assistance will be those without flood insurance — especially the elderly and disabled.
You can hear the entire 8-minute interview with Danel below:
In March, flooding ravaged parts of Louisiana. Among the hardest hit was Tangipahoa Parish, where at least 1,000 homes took on water.
That’s where the Ginger Ford Northshore Fuller Center for Housing has worked for years to build new homes and repair scores of existing homes. This week, their efforts to help families still recovering from the floods has gotten a tremendous boost from World Changers, which has sent 140 young volunteers from several different states to work with Ginger Ford Northshore.
“It definitely builds morale among the homeowners,” said Ginger Ford Northshore Executive Director Tamara Danel, whose Fuller Center covenant partner also hosted World Changers teams in 2013 and 2014. “They definitely feel uplifted. We’ve got a lot of happy homeowners who were in desperate need of a wheelchair ramp or flood repairs or repairs to their existing homes.”
“The World Changers’ mission is the same as The Fuller Center’s mission in that they come to serve in the name of Jesus, and they want it to be done with love for whoever needs help. It’s a great fit.” — Tamara Danel, Executive Director, Ginger Ford Northshore Fuller Center
In addition to helping flood victims make long-needed repairs, the volunteers also are building wheelchair ramps and making other non-flood-related repairs. The covenant partner also is hosting a 10-volunteer team from St. Joseph’s Prep School of Philadelphia. At least 19 projects are being tackled this week.
Students from St. Joseph’s Preparatory School of Philadelphia work this week in Tangipahoa Parish, La.
Danel said the community’s embrace of the volunteers is key to being able to host such a large group, and their response also makes volunteers want to return.
“We have some repeat World Changers group leaders who’ve been here before and really like coming here,” she said. “They like the food and the hospitality and they like the scope of the work that we assign them. They feel like they can really get hands-on and get involved and really make a difference in the lives of the people they have come to serve. And we’ve had lots of local churches and local businesses step forward to feed our volunteers.”
In addition to supplying many hands ready to work, World Changers provides some intangible support to The Fuller Center, as well, by infusing new energy and spirit into the ministry. Danel believes that The Fuller Center and World Changers are kindred spirits and natural partners.
“The World Changers’ mission is the same as The Fuller Center’s mission in that they come to serve in the name of Jesus, and they want it to be done with love for whoever needs help,” she said. “It’s a great fit. All of the volunteers come with eager hearts and minds and are just ready to serve and do whatever it takes. So it’s a great fit with The Fuller Center.”
Related: The video below is from The World Changers’ 2014 visit to Tangipahoa Parish:
Last week, as much as 20 inches of rain fell in some parts of Louisiana in less than 48 hours. One of the hardest-hit parishes is Tangipahoa, where the very busy and effective Ginger Ford Northshore Fuller Center for Housing is based.
Ginger Ford Northshore Executive Director Tamara Danel was raised in nearby New Orleans, where flooding has always been a common occurrence. But she says she has never witnessed flooding like this. In Tangipahoa Parish, more than a thousand houses took in water and more than 2,800 people had to be rescued by boat.
“This flood affected rich and poor alike,” she said. “We are very worried about the homes where no flood insurance was required and the families do not have the resources to go out and buy all new insulation, drywall, baseboard molding, doors and appliances. Those families need their homes repaired quickly before any unwelcome black mold takes over.”
100 percent of donations made to our disaster fund will go toward helping these families rebuild their homes and their lives.
Scenes like this are all too common in Tangipahoa Parish, where more than 1,000 homes took in water from last week’s massive rains.
Our friends at Ginger Ford Northshore do an outstanding job and already had committed to one new home build, two ReNew projects and at least 25 Greater Blessing repairs before this flood struck. Those ambitious plans already had stretched their 2016 budget thin, and they currently do not have the money in their budget for this recovery effort. But this outstanding Fuller Center covenant partner stands willing to help flood victims if we can simply help them raise the money to do the job.
The Fuller Center for Housing helps families in need of a decent place to call home. That need becomes stark when disaster strikes, disproportionately affecting the most vulnerable among us. As the floodwaters recede in Louisiana many families are facing great hardship, especially those who were uninsured and don’t have access to the resources to repair their homes.
We will be reaching out to these families, and we need your support. Remember, 100 percent of donations made to our disaster fund will go toward helping these families rebuild their homes and their lives.