Southern University sponsors drive for residents of Lake Charles impacted by Hurricane Laura
BATON ROUGE - Southern University sponsored a drive to collect much-needed supplies for Hurricane Laura survivors in Lake Charles and began delivering the items Sunday, September 20.
According to Governor John Bel Edwards, over 12,000 Louisianians have been displaced by Hurricane Laura and Southern University's students, staff, and faculty have stepped up to the plate to gather relief supplies such as bottled water, non- perishable food, and diapers to send to survivors in Lake Charles.
The university's relief efforts began Wednesday and continued throughout the weekend. Southern's relief workers departed from the T.J. Jemison Baptist Student Union early Sunday morning, around 6:30 a.m., to deliver the items to a Lake Charles area church that will serve as a distribution center.
Among those helping in the relief work are students from Lake Charles who've been impacted by Hurricane Laura's destruction.
Though these students face the challenging task of helping their families rebuild devastated homes as well as navigating the financial and emotional impact of storm-related losses, they're able to find a measure of comfort in watching their community unite in relief efforts.
One such student-athlete, Jakoby Pappillion, told WBRZ that his mother and his Uncle survived the storm but were left with damage to their homes.
"My Uncle lost his house," Papillion said.
Despite this, Papillion had a positive attitude and he explained why, saying, "Last time I was out there (in Lake Charles), they had people out there cooking food for free. That's really what it is, coming together and trying to make the community stronger."
Observing fellow Louisianians abandon their own pursuits to focus on helping their neighbors get through a tough time gave Papillion a sense of hope.
He and other members of Southern University's community will continue to collect supplies for Lake Charles families at least until Friday evening.
The event was organized by Tamara Foster-Montgomery, the National Chaplain for the The Southern University Alumni Federation.
Those who would like to donate supplies can do so by contacting the university's athlete department at (225) 771-5609.
Other hurricane donations can be made via Southern University's alumni association by clicking here.