Helping the community recover from Hurricane Ida has become a family affair for one local family unit, and the work that they are accomplishing is helping the youngest of the storm’s victims.
“My family is working on a few projects to give back to St. John and St. Charles parishes,” Maggie O’Brien Meyer of Destrehan said. “We started to deliver box’s to families who are displaced due to Hurricane Ida. We are collecting used books, games and clothing and more for children of all ages.”
Maggie’s mother Sandra O’Brien is no stranger to community service. She has spent over 20 years as a parish special education teacher and is the founder of Caring Strategies – a nonprofit organization with a mission to provide learning opportunities that support child and brain development.
Maggie – as well as her sisters Molly Dartez, Erin Braud and Kati Corso – have each assisted their mom in her monthly mission. Sandra has dedicated all of October’s Caring Strategies’ efforts to creating boxes and bags for children impacted by Hurricane Ida, especially those currently living in RVs or hotels. She said she initially reached out to family and friends for donations.
“Not a soul said no,” Sandra said. “In the worst of times, the best of people come out.”
Donations continued to pour in after Maggie posted the project on the Ormond Civic Association Facebook page.
“It just blew up … I’d come home to like 10 bags on my porch,” Maggie said. “I was surprised by the overwhelming donations and support people have given us. Every day stuff is coming in … people have been through so much and still find time to give back to others.”
Sandra said currently the family is sorting through a huge influx of clothes, but that a common request from needy families has been diapers and wipes. Gift cards are also always helpful to families, Sandra said.
Anyone interested in donating can drop off donations at Essential Nutrition is Destrehan, email Caringstrategies@aol.com or text 504-722-3636 for more information.