NSA Louisiana Flood Relief

Hello fellow NSA members,

Last week, a wide region of Southern Louisiana was devastated by historic floods.  Over 30,000 people had to be rescued from floodwaters, and over 60,000 have been displaced from their homes.  Several lost their lives, and that number will likely increase as the waters recede and rescue efforts continue.  Many people lost all they had aside from the clothes they slept in the night before.

Baton Rouge and Lafayette - two cities with thriving NSA chapters - were hit particularly hard. Several NSA members in each chapter escaped with their lives but have lost their homes forever.  There are likely more who have been affected, but communication has been difficult due to damage to cell towers, power outages, and limited access to internet.

We have set up a relief fund to assist these families as they rebuild and will begin collecting from local NSA members, friends and colleagues. This email is a request to the broader NSA community to further assist the NSA members in Baton Rouge and Lafayette who, at present, are desperately trying to figure out how to rebuild their life. Donations can be anonymous if you wish, and we ask that you give only what you feel comfortable. The funds will be divided up evenly among the NSA members across Baton Rouge and Lafayette who have been displaced.  I will be withdrawing the funds prior to our next NSA meeting in September and dispersing the funds to affected members in-person.

I realize pleas for donations come into our inboxes on a daily basis, and it is not my intent to add to the tacit obligation that so often accompanies such emails. I ask on behalf of my newfound NSA family because, as I’ve witnessed over the course of this catastrophe, most in this area prefer to give aid than receive it. They are a proud lot who tend to endure tragedy by their own devices. Sadly, the depth of destruction – which, according to the Red Cross, is the worst natural disaster since Hurricane Sandy on the East Coast in 2012 - has not been the focus of most national media outlets with the ongoing election and Olympics coverage. I fear the relief efforts will be limited by the next big news story. I ask for your help to offset this all-to-predictable pattern and rapid depletion of local resources. These people are worth it, and although the waters will eventually recede, the damage will remain for years to come.

Much of what was lost cannot be re-purchased, but a demonstration of support from their “second family” in the NSA may help ease their suffering and let them know that, as always, we stand behind them.

Geoff Coalson
Chapter Leader, NSA-Baton Rouge
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Geoff AC
Baton Rouge, LA

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