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St. Amant Fire Chief and Volunteer Ascension board chairman James LeBlanc checks his phone for messages in 2017 he stands near supplies donated for Hurricane Harvey victims. Volunteer Ascension is organizing a collection drive this week for Hurricane Laura victims.

Before Hurricane Laura slammed into the Louisiana coastline, Volunteer Ascension Director Sherry Denig wasted no time in organizing an effort to assist those in southwest Louisiana affected by the storm.

With the rain was still falling and the storm threatening, she quickly put out the word to area Rotary Clubs and parish government officials to begin mobilizing to collect the items that she knows by experience the hurricane victims will need.

“Our collection will be driven by the needs and the timing of the people that we are servicing,” said Ms. Denig. “It has to work this way, otherwise we are just another group dumping supplies on people who don’t have the means or the manpower to store, manage or distribute the much-needed supplies. I can’t think of a worse outcome. So, of course we want to avoid that.”

As the nonprofit did when Hurricane Harvey impacted the Houston area, Volunteer Ascension will stage collections under the covered barns at Lamar-Dixon Expo Center. Volunteers will assemble there to receive donations and load them into trailers for transport to Lake Charles and other southwest Louisiana areas.

The immediate need is enclosed trailers. Owners who agree to lend their trailers must provide door and tongue locks for their trailers and be willing to leave them at Lamar-Dixon while deliveries and routes are coordinated. Lamar-Dixon supplies security and no issues were reported in previous efforts. Anyone willing to lend an enclosed trailer should call Volunteer Ascension at (225) 644-7655, or Ascension Parish President Clint Cointment’s office at (225) 450-1012.

Collections of donated items will be from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, Sept. 2-4, under Barns 7 and 8 at the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center in Gonzalez.

Items needed include:

  • Plastic totes
  • Regular, work or vinyl gloves
  • Mops and buckets
  • Garbage bags (large and X-large)
  • Clorox and Clorox wipes
  • Mold killer
  • Baby wipes
  • Hammers
  • N95 (or better) masks for cleaning
  • Rubber boots
  • Paper towels
  • Toilet Paper
  • Vinegar
  • Plastic lock bags
  • Box cutters
  • Extension cords
  • Batteries
  • Fans
  • Garden hoses
  • Hand sanitizers
  • Dehumidifiers
  • Washing detergent
  • Toothpaste and toothbrushes
  • Shampoo
  • Soap
  • Deodorant

“I wholeheartedly support this effort by Volunteer Ascension and the Rotary Clubs, and will do everything in my power to ensure its success,” said Cointment. “The people of the Houston and Lake Charles areas were so generous to us after the 2016 Flood. This represents another opportunity to return the favor to people in need.”