Hurricane Disaster Relief - Pies and Supplies: South Central Region, USA
Members of the South Central Region of the Sri Sathya Sai International Organization (SSSIO) - USA provided relief to five different communities in the Lake Charles area in Louisiana – three church parishes in the Lake Charles area, a church parish in DeQuincy and a community in Creole - in the wake of severe devastation by Hurricanes Laura and Delta.
Planning of this service activity started in mid-October. Several Sri Sathya Sai Centers across the region contributed by donating to the purchase of food and other items. The delivery was planned to coincide with the Thanksgiving holiday and took place on November 19, 2020. About 15 volunteers from the Sri Sathya Sai Centers of Austin and Houston and the Sai Group in Beaumont helped transport Thanksgiving pies, toiletries and 540 bags of food items such as rice, beans, canned vegetables, pasta, and tomato sauce in their cars, vans and U-haul rentals. They distributed these items to a few hundred families who were victims of the hurricanes. Additionally, several blankets received from other Regions in the USA were also delivered to these communities.
At one of the churches, in addition to distributing pies and food bags, Sai volunteers also worked with a member of the church to prepare and hand out approximately 150 boxed hot lunches consisting of pasta and salad. Snack bags filled with chips, cookies, energy bars, fresh fruit, juice and water were also distributed. At the Creole location, Sai volunteers distributed food and blankets to approximately 50 families and sponsored a lunch for the recipients in collaboration with the Lions Club of Cameron. Several community leaders worked alongside the Sai volunteers, including the President of the Cameron Lions Club, the parish administrator, a local district judge and a clerk of the court, to distribute food items and blankets to the grateful recipients.
Nicole Simien, a member of the Christian Baptist Church in Lake Charles, LA expressed her thanks on behalf of the Lake Charles Community.
“We are so grateful to the Sai volunteers who have been blessing us every week with items to donate to the Lake Charles community with things that they need. We are deeply grateful that they have traveled so far from Houston, Austin and Dallas every week.” The visit by the Sai volunteers to Creole, LA was also covered by the local newspaper, The Cameron Parish Pilot.