Episcopal High School Partners with The Cajun Army to Help Flood Victims
On Tuesday, October 25th Episcopal School of Baton Rouge welcomed Mr. Chris King of the Cajun Army to campus to talk with students about the needs that still exist in our community following the Great Flood of 2016. Mr. King, who graduated from Episcopal in the late 80’s, helped start the Cajun Army as an off-shoot of the Cajun Navy immediately following the disaster. As opposed to the Navy which focuses on boat rescue, King explained that the Cajun Army has focused on providing volunteer “boots on the ground” to help residents with their needs now that the flood waters have receded. He explained that over the past several months since the disaster the organization which started with just a few people has grown to a force of over 10,000 volunteers who have been involved in some way.
As part of his introduction, Mr. King explained that he was not always the most academically focused young man when he was an Episcopal student. Despite this shortcoming, he pointed out that it was his teachers and peers that helped instill in him the values that lead him to doing work, both professionally and as a volunteer, focused on helping others. He stated very poignantly that it was through helping others that he found his own gifts and talents and realized what kind of man he wanted to strive to become.
After his introduction, Mr. King went on to describe the kinds of desperate situations that volunteers are seeing as they continue to work with flood victims in our community. He told them about people who are living in their cars because they don’t have a tent or a trailer to put in their yards. He described the horrible conditions inside flooded homes that people are living in because they have no other place to go. He also made the point that the situation will likely get worse before it gets better due to the fact that FEMA assistance for temporary housing will soon be running out. As a result, more people will likely be without shelter when they are no longer able to pay for costly hotel rooms.
Mr. King closed by challenging students to rise to the challenge of helping their neighbors. He shared with them a plan to gather needed supplies for those who are struggling and homeless. Supplies needed include tents, tank-less water heaters and sleeping bags. As a school, Episcopal will be working to gather these supplies over the next couple of weeks and will then deliver them to the Cajun Army warehouse where they can then be distributed by volunteers to the people in need. King reminded students that many in our community still face a long road to recovery. But together we can help bring our friends and neighbors back to a better place.
The Center for Service Learning is partnering with the Cajun Army to continue to help those in our community affected by the flood this summer. Over the next couple of weeks, Episcopal will hold a supply drive to help gather items for families who are homeless or living under difficult circumstances. Below is a list of supply needs. Donations should be dropped off in the Student Center in Perkins Hall.