On Friday, Aug. 12, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was hit with flooding rain causing 13 deaths, damaging at least 60,000 homes and sending thousands to shelters.
According to CNN, “The catastrophic flood devastating Louisiana is now the worst natural disaster to strike the United States since Hurricane Sandy four years ago,” the Red Cross said. “As a result, donations are coming in across the country to help those in need at shelters.”
Education Technology Specialist Nancy Tooraen of Louisiana Public Broadcasting sent an email to colleagues across the country asking for donations amid the devastation.
“Our roadways are closed, groceries have no food, gas supply is limited and many are without power. Many of our own employees have lost everything,” said Tooraen.
KENW staff came together to donate to the flood victims and shelters.
KENW News Director Janet Bresenham said staff members responded immediately to the request on Tuesday, Aug. 16. Staff members shipped 55 pounds of supplies for the flood survivors in less than 24 hours.
KENW staff donated money to purchase the supplies and to ship to Louisiana, and staff member Terri Doerr shopped for the supplies.
KENW-TV/FM Eastern New Mexico University posted on Facebook Wednesday, Aug. 17, their donations, and information to send gathered supplies.
Among the staff donations are diapers, pillows, and sock monkeys. Tooraen said that so many children have lost everything, and it will be months before schools reopen.
Bresenham says a lot of items needed are for families and children.
The shelters are in need of pillows, blankets, towels, clothes, zip lock bags, diapers, books, coloring books, crayons, stuffed animals, etc.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards and his office have put together a list of resources needed for the flooding victims. According to volunteerlouisiana.gov, food and money donations are also accepted, and there is an overwhelming surplus of donated goods so they are looking for useful goods for response and recovery efforts.
Tooraen sent a heart-felt email to KENW staff that she couldn’t believe the support and concern from her public TV family.
“Thanks to all of you for your generous donations to children and families in Louisiana! We received the boxes of stuffed animals, books, wash cloths, towel and other supplies. We appreciate you so much! You’ve brought lots of smiles to many kids and families! We thank you from the bottom of our hearts!” said Tooraen in the email.
ENMU students, faculty and staff can get involved in donating by going to http://gov.louisiana.gov/news/resources-for-flood-victims or by sending donations and supplies to:
Louisiana Public Broadcasting
7733 Perkins Road Baton Rouge, LA 70810