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Hurricane Katrina and Pointes-aux-Chenes: Lest We Forget

Lest we forget….

Conference Calls Unlimited’s first major philanthropic project was the Points Aux Chenes school in Montegut, Louisiana. We first wrote about it over 2 years ago in the first months of the Hurricanes Katrina and Rita aftermath. (Is it possible that all of that occurred two years ago?!)

The school, located on the bayou, was devastated by those two hurricanes.

We heard about the need of this school when we checked in with one of our long time customers in the area after the hurricane, to offer assistance. He declined assistance for himself but informed us that he knew of a school that sustained a great deal of damage due to its location. Our CEO immediately spearheaded a donation program for the school.

We re-routed funds which we normally allocated to sending “thank you” flower bouquets to new customers to purchase desks, chairs and other equipment for the school. We sent word of this project out to our customers and received additional funds for the project.

Happily, the school is up and running, but lest we forget the untold and very long term damage caused by Katrina, we wanted to share some excerpts from a recent update from the school’s principal, Dawn LaFont.

“We are still open- busy with 157 children.  We have 52 children who are homeless or living with other families.  So with a third of the students living with about 20% of the remaining population so about 45% of our children are still up set!  We have more domestic issues than ever!  I think the stress of it all is getting to everyone.  Levees have been built- we haven’t had any storms so you would think people would get settled, but housing sky rocketed after Katrina and Rita.  Even middle class families are finding it difficult to pay the cost of repairs, new housing or renting.  Building codes added additional burdens on people who had begun to repair their homes and insurance companies dropped them or increased their insurance to an unaffordable price.  Road Home dollars are still not coming as they should have and so people are told to write appeals… difficult to do if you are not educated. 

Our school is beautiful- everyone tells us how wonderful it feels to be here!  I really want to make their day- everyday!  There are so many unfixable things… I am striving to hang on to this part of their world as a safe, warm, loving environment.  The magnetic boards, chairs, plastic drawers are holding up beautifully.  We have had to raise our furniture a couple of times and it was much easier than before.  In a matter of two hours with everyone working we were picked up and covered!!! “

How fortunate the children are to have such a caring principal. We are humbled by her stamina and shocked to know how unsettled the victims of Hurricane Katrina still are. It certainly is cause to count your own blessings.

- Theresa Chatelle, Customer Service Manager.

December 21, 2007 | Permalink