photo credit:  U.S. Department of Agriculture/Flickr.com; CC BY 2.0

In mid-August, intense rainfall in Louisiana led to historic, catastrophic flooding, with record water levels submerging thousands of houses and businesses. More than two feet of rain fell, devastating 20 Louisiana parishes, leading FEMA to declare them federal disaster areas. In all, it is estimated that the flood damaged more than 146,000 homes, and caused at least 13 deaths. The flood has been called the worst US natural disaster since Hurricane Sandy in 2012. 

Wilton resident Kathlynn Dumser grew up in Baton Rouge and still has deep ties to the area. Knowing Wilton residents will often look for the best ways to help out others in need, GOOD Morning Wilton asked her to pull together a list of opportunities for anyone in her new community to help those hit hard in the community of her roots. Dumser has provided us with an abundance of resources that can easily get aid to Louisiana residents and organizations that need it most. Please consider helping where possible.

As most of you have heard by now, there was a rain storm that hit Baton Rouge, LA and surrounding areas the weekend of Aug. 12, (30 inches of rain fell over a 56-hr. period), and it has caused flooding the likes of which this area has never seen (over 140,000 homes affected). I was raised in Baton Rouge and my family is still there (thankfully none of their homes were affected) and they are boots on the ground in the recovery efforts. They are seeing firsthand which organizations will make sure that donations are given directly to the victims.

I want to share those resources with anyone in my Wilton community looking for the opportunity to serve and help. Additionally, I have means to connect those who want to help in person directly to organizations that are able to match need with skills you can offer. Please feel free to email me with any questions.

–Kathlynn Dumser

Organizations and churches currently boots on the ground for the recovery:  I have dozens of firsthand accounts from family and friends on how much all of these organizations are doing and have committed to seeing this through during the years of recovery still ahead.

Animal rescues:

  • Humane Society of Louisiana:  has rescued and transported many animals to safety, even by boating in to shelters that had no choice but to open kennels and let the animals loose to have a chance at survival
  • St Tammany Humane Society
  • Louisiana State Animal Rescue Team (LSART):  has done many deep water rescues of animals, including livestock, and is getting them to safety
  • Tangi Humane Society:  privately-run no kill animal shelter (and home to the couple that runs it) was damaged extensively, and they must completely rebuild.

Places taking clothes donations:

Sorrento Fire Department
8096 Main Street
Sorrento, LA 70778
225.675.8668

Maurepas High School
23923 Highway 22
Maurepas, LA 70462
225.571.1130

Grace Life Fellowship:  Collecting many items, can be sent via Amazon accounts
10210 Barringer Foreman Road
Baton Rouge, LA 70809

  • Gift cards:  Gas cards, Mall of Louisiana, Walmart, Target, Home Depot, Lowe’s, grocery stores, restaurants/fast food, and Petco
  • Health/sanitary needs:
    • diapers size 2 and up
    • bottled waters
    • new or used new or gently used towels and washcloths
    • new toiletries including toothpaste, soap, body wash, shampoo, conditioner, feminine hygiene products, deodorant, dental floss, razors
  • Supplies:
    • plastic storage tubs with lids
    • box fans
    • shop vacs
    • extension cords
  • cleaning supplies:  mops, brooms, Lysol wipes, Lysol, bleach, garbage bags, hand soap, buckets, paper towels, very large Ziploc bags, hand sanitizer, dust masks, rubber cleaning gloves
  • clothing:
    • boys clothes (new or gently used):  size 5T and underwear size 6
    • men’s clothes (new or gently used):  32 pants and shorts; 40/42 waist; XL to XXL shirts; shoe size 14/15 and 11.5
    • women’s clothes (new or gently used):  pants size 10, 16 and 18 or 1X; shirts M-L, XL and XXL; shoe size 8 and 7.5 (closed toe please), size 8 tennis shoes/sneakers
    • teenage boy clothes (new or gently used):  36/38 waist; L shirts; size 11 shoes
    • pre-teen boy clothes (new or gently used):  child large and pants 12/14; shoe size 7-4E
    • young girl clothes (new or gently used): 18 months; kids 6 and 8
    • juniors 0, 3 and 5; child large and pants 10/12; shoe sizes 5, 2 and 13