Members of Sri Sathya Sai International Organization (SSSIO) USA - South Central Region participated in a Tree Planting event at Lake Charles, Louisiana. This event was held in partnership with the City of Lake Charles on March 23, 2024. The Lake Charles area was severely damaged by hurricanes that came through, and was in great need of having its the natural habitat rehabilitated and revived.

A couple of days prior to the event, Sai volunteers from Houston, TX collected about 250 five-gallon pots of trees that were graciously donated by a non-profit organization – Trees for Houston. These trees were loaded in a 15-foot U-Haul which Sai volunteers drove to Lake Charles, LA. The trees were mainly species that were native to Texas such as the Eastern Redbud, Red Maple and Shumard Oak.

About 12 Sai volunteers from Houston, Austin and Dallas, TX assembled at Lake Charles on the day of the event. They started the day at 9 am with a simple prayer before planting trees at multiple locations – the Charles Memorial Hospital, Tuten Park and a local church. The Recreation & Parks Department of the City of Lake Charles joined in to help digging holes for the trees with an auger. About 50 trees were planted. The remaining 200 trees were unloaded at Tuten Park for various schools and businesses to pick up at a later date.

The SSSIO volunteers had a wonderful experience and a sense of fulfillment in having contributed to giving back to Mother Earth. The City of Lake Charles was very appreciative of this effort and assured that the trees would be well taken care of by them.

Kimberly Albrecht, Director of Programming at the City of Lake Charles Recreation & Parks Department, mentioned:

“Excited to have the Sai team donate more than 200 trees to the City of Lake Charles. This area was demolished three years ago by the hurricanes that came through. Rebuilding our tree canopy is very important for the city. These trees will be used for the landscaping of the Lake Charles Memorial Hospital, the McNeese University Campus and for all the campuses of Calcasieu Parish School Board. We look forward to working with you all in the future as well. Thank you so much.”