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Local coalition collecting furniture to aid flood victims

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BATON ROUGE - The Baton Rouge Emergency Aid Coalition, also known as BREAC,  is back helping the community once again.

Saturday, kicking off their latest project- Put the Heart Back in Your Home, to help flood victims restore some comfort into their houses.  

 “Today we are collecting donations so people can re-decorate their homes, because some people are finally moving back into their homes after being flooded.” Said Lisa Jain Welden, one of the women behind the coalition.

“They lost furniture, paintings, albums, and a lot of us have furniture sitting in our attics, garages so we hope that we can help make their house a home again.” Said Welden.

 BREAC started during the August flooding, and today, is the local non-profit continuing to aid in Louisiana flood recovery. “All six of us were working individually in the community, when we realized we could be stronger as a team, so we pulled all our resources and formed the coalition.” Said Welden.

 For another member of the coalition, April Ruffolo, she too flooded, and says she understands what it’s like to lose not only your house, but the details inside.

“Most of the people I know either didn’t have insurance or only building insurance, but not contents.” Said Ruffolo. “So, this allows those people to fill in the gaps for those items, you don't realize how your house can feel empty, and you put a picture on the wall and it’s like 'boom! Yay, I feel like this is more livable space’ and we'd love to defray those costs for people to come here and have things, not purchase things.”

 Saturday was the first day of collections, at 212 S 14th Street in Baton Rouge. The coalition will collect5 donations again, Saturday February 11th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For flood victims looking to come get some items to spruce up their homes, distribution will happen on Saturday, February 18th, from 10-4

All flood victims will need to bring is their FEMA registration number to receive any donated items at no cost. For those who would like to volunteer, visit BREAC’s Facebook page, and message the coalition directly.

High school student and volunteer Matthew Barrack says, volunteering for the coalition is not only rewarding, but fulfilling for all.

“It brings a lot of comfort to the families that lost everything they had. Just little things like decorative things, can really bring a lot of comfort to their house and make their house feel full again.” Said Barrack.


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