South Louisiana, especially Down the Bayou, is in extreme need of relief and recovery aid in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida. So instead of the usual pithy Bon Vivant fodder, today’s post is dedicated to people and organizations with boots on the ground helping in real time. There are so many worthwhile individuals and entities helping in the affected areas, so please feel free to donate to your favorite if you can help. But if you aren’t sure where to donate, here’s a list to get you started, including a summary (mostly from each organization’s website or donation page) of the group’s mission or group it supports.
New Orleans Musician’s Clinic Hurricane Ida Relief: This group is feeding its members, getting them their medicines and medical attention, assisting with FEMA claims and many other services post-hurricane. It describes its work as providing “comprehensive medical care and social services to local musicians, performing artists, cultural workers, and tradition bearers.”
Feed the Second Line: Post-hurricane, Feed the Second Line is providing food, supplies and assistance in New Orleans and Down the Bayou. From its site, “We support culture bearers by purchasing groceries and other essentials, we create job opportunities for culture-bearers, we provide general support for those who make our city culturally rich place.”
Zeus Rescues: Zeus volunteers have been rescuing pets left behind or lost during the storm, on the day-to-day however this is what the group does: “It is the mission, duty, and purpose of Zeus’ Rescues to eradicate pet homelessness and euthanasia within the New Orleans metro area. The organization is further committed to community-building and pet education with a focus on children and the elderly.”
Habitat for Humanity New Orleans: Habitat has a fund specific to Hurricane Ida relief. Its overall mission is “To responsibly build communities where families can thrive, in homes they can afford.”
Second Harvest Food Bank: For its Hurricane Relief fund, Second Harvest says, “Thousands have been impacted and displaced by Hurricane Ida. Every $1 donated helps Second Harvest provide 4 meals to our neighbors facing hunger.” Meanwhile the group says it “leads the fight against hunger in South Louisiana by providing food access, advocacy, education, and disaster response.”
Bayou Fund: This Go Fund Me was established by Chef Melissa Martin of Mosquito Supper Club in New Orleans through the Helio Foundation to help people Down the Bayou in her native Terrebonne Parish.
Cajun Navy Relief: Simply put, “The Cajun Navy Relief and Rescue is here to help those in need.” If you are unfamiliar with the group, its volunteers go into disaster areas to rescue people and pets, as well as offer supplies and other aid.
United Houma Nation: Also assisting tribal members and others in the hurricane affected areas, from its site, “The United Houma Nation is a 501c3 nonprofit organization … The Tribe survives and thrives on financial contributions to support general daily operations as well as programmatic support.”
World Central Kitchen: Chef Issac Toups of Toup’s Meatery in New Orleans, as well as other chefs throughout South Louisiana are serving hot meals to people in need in partnership with World Central Kitchen. Many people know World Central Kitchen through its founder Chef José Andrés. The group offers culinary training and education as well as other initiatives, but also serves meals in the aftermath of disasters. Andrés is often somehow, remarkably the first on the ground after a crisis and South Louisiana was no exception.
The homes and livelihoods of thousands of people have been destroyed so if you live in South Louisiana or have ever visited here and fell in love with the beauty, food, art, music, history, mystery, parades, animals, landscape and people that create New Orleans and Louisiana culture and lore, and you have cash to spare, please make a donation to one of these worthwhile organizations or one that isn’t on this list.