Why We Need Your Help
Updated 8/23/16: Thank you to the many people who have donated already! Louisiana sends its love and you've made a real difference in somebody's life this week. To keep things current, we wanted to post an update. Much of the flooding has receded in the Baton Rouge and surrounding parishes, but water needs somewhere to go and has begun flooding the more southern areas, namely Gonzales and Sorrento, and the region as a whole is considered an active flooding area with the summer rain storms.
This past week, many have spent salvaging what they can and tearing out the rest. Sheetrock has been pulled out and houses are down to the studs. Residents are trying to clean and keep mold down, but the moisture in the air makes it difficult. People have received hard phone calls - finding out items aren't covered by flood insurance, a renter's policy doesn't have a flood clause, dealing with adjusters or simply being told they have 48 hours to get what they can due to their apartment being demolished. Everyone seems so tired and frustration and emotional exhaustion have set in. There is a lot of love and support here helping where we can, but there are so many people, gross amounts of damage and still so many who have nothing left.
Please continue to share and spread the word.
Many of you may or may not know the State of Louisiana is currently undergoing a historic flood. In the past few days many places in the Southern half of the state have received several feet of rainfall. That's correct: not inches, feet.
The Amite and Comite rivers along with other natural tributaries have reached levels never before recorded and have flooded thousands of homes. The current count is over 40,000 homes. Thousands of people had to be rescued from rising flood waters. All of this happened in the last several days. There was no warning and the homes that are flooding are ones that have never received water before. In most cases, it means they haven't flooded in the last 50 years. Not in Hurricanes Camille, Katrina, Rita or Gustav.
There is an unprecedented level of devastation. The National Media Outlets are only just now starting to cover these stories. Over the past few days, as we've taken phone calls around the country, we've learned they have had no idea this was even occurring. Even out-of-state family is calling, asking us “apparently you guys are getting some rain?”
Understatement of the year.
Social Media Should Help, Right?
To compound matters many of us locally have turned to Facebook to get our messages out. But because Facebook chooses who sees your posts based on who you interact with most, its like yelling from your front yard. Your neighbors might hear you, but it is really hard to get the message out to your thousands of “friends”. Our only workaround is to boost a post, meaning you have to pay Facebook in order to force it to show to others.
Catapult was desperate to help in this effort. But the fact is we don’t have boats and don’t really have any experience in dealing with floods. What we can do is build a website to get the message out to tell the Nation what is going on here.
The people devastated by this flood will need clothing, bedding, shoes, socks, kids clothing, toiletries, feminine product and pretty much all kinds cleaning of supplies over the coming weeks and months. So we're reaching out to our friends and family and hopefully your friends and family nationwide to see if we can collect these materials.
Make National More Local
Any material donations will be gratefully accepted and we will make sure they reach the people in need in our community through local channels. This lets those who want to send items in rest assured their contribution is helping a local family here. We've set up an Amazon Wish List to help facilitate donations. All supplies will be taken directly to distribution hubs in the affected areas.
You can donate directly to Catholic Charities, a national based charity with local divisions in each area. They are dedicated to providing services that include early response, mental health counseling, case management to develop family recovery plans and emergency assistance. Due to their Mission, low operational & administration costs, almost 100% of the donations will go to those affected by the floods.
So Why This Site Instead of a Crowdfunding One?
For any supporters who wish to donate to local charities who do not have the capability to receive funds online, Catapult Creative Media Inc has set up a donation portal to receive these funds, as opposed to a GoFundMe Crowdfunding Page because we don’t believe that 5% of your donation should go towards fees. Stripe charges 2.9% + 30 cents per transaction. GoFundMe charges 5% for their fees + 2.9% + 30 cents per transaction.
This means by donating through this site an extra 5% will go to local charities. We will keep this collection completely transparent, providing a listing of all donations online, where it has been given and will send out receipts.
Time to Heal
Catapult wasn't around when Hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated New Orleans and our State but we refuse to sit idly by as this disaster destroys homes and families.
In Louisiana we have been through a lot lately and the community has never been this frayed. Over the past several days, we've seen strangers helping strangers, regardless of what divides them. We see the potential to be united in a way that can provide healing to all. We ask that you give as you can and let us know how else we can support the community.
We are providing resource links on this website showing a list of shelters and donation areas, articles showing people what they can do post flood for their cars and homes, how to apply for assistance and other informational articles to help with the process. We will be trying to provide real time updates to people as the situation changes. We also are collecting a list of vetted businesses who can help others in their relief efforts.
Be safe out there ya'll.