After the Flood: A Reflection by Executive Director Loren

One thing that you learn living in Louisiana is that weather is the great equalizer. Weather doesn’t care what neighborhood you live in, the color of your skin, or if you’ve been in church or the bar lately. 

It also has a way of teaching us we are all equal. Making those of us not affected by the devastation grow in empathy for those that are. When these times are upon us in Louisiana we get to see the best in each other while working together to overcome the worst of times.

As schools were canceled many students in Opelousas were excited to sit at home and enjoy the time off.  Learning about the devastation surrounding our parish and region I told a group our High School students I wanted to go and help. Without hesitation they said they wanted to come. I told them to organize a text message and see who wanted to come that we would meet at 8:00am and I wouldn’t wait around for them.

The next morning 10 of our students arrived on time and worked eagerly serving families that lost everything in the flood. As we walked carrying the soggy belongings of our neighbors to the street, strangers turned into family and we felt for a moment what our brothers and sisters were experiencing.

Each evening I would offer the option for our kids to come again in the morning. But, only if they wanted to work. And, each day they came. Five days in a row they served. And each day they were an encouragement to everyone, even inspiring friends to come and help. 

Many people look at today’s generation with disdain. I look at our students with Hope. And that’s what the families felt when our kids served at the moment of their greatest need. To see our kids have that experience knowing that it will stay with them for the rest of their lives makes me proud. And, it helps me believe even more that Love Changes Everything.

Photos from the Daily World article which can be found here.