Written by Sr. Kim Xuan Thi Nguyen
It was only after our hiatus in Houston and return to Lake Charles that we realized the horrific impact hurricanes Laura and Delta and their devastation and destruction to the community of Lake Charles. The debris of fallen trees, shingles, wood from broken fences, house contents, etc. was the regular sight on every street. We had minor clean up to do to our own house but we knew there were greater needs, and so we began inquiring as to what and where the possibilities of support might be needed. Catholic Charities was indeed a priority. The three of us went to assist with food distribution to many people. It was an eye opening experience to witness the gratitude and appreciation of those being helped who have found themselves without life’s basic necessities.
Another area that was in great need of volunteer help was a clean-up effort to our local parish Church that was pretty well destroyed. The Church office is in shambles and the Church itself is in need of anew roof and interior repairs. This volunteer effort gave us the opportunity to experience a sense of community as we worked side by side with fellow Church members and heard from the pastor of the work that is yet to be done to get his Church community back to normal again.
Several weeks later the needs are ongoing and the response to the clean-up is evident on every street. So many businesses and buildings still show evidence of disrepair. The people of Southwestern Louisiana- Lakes Charles – have a strength and resilience that could only be founded on a strong faith. We continue to assist where help is needed and are very happy that we were able to share and support our neighbors in crises.