From organizing various distribution locations around the parish to coordinating the efforts of volunteers, the United Way of St. Charles has been full steam ahead in serving the local community after Hurricane Ida – even after suffering its own losses.
“Our office was totally wiped out,” Executive Director John Dias said. “Our agency has five employees and three of us suffered tremendous loss of our own homes.”
Despite the circumstances, Dias said he has been working out the parish’s Emergency Operations Center and that the information and messages that have poured in since the storm have been heart-breaking.
“I was shocked to get those calls … nothing prepares for things like that,” Dias said of the dire situation so many St. Charles Parish residents were in after the storm.
Now the agency is desperately in need of volunteers to assist community members. United Way of St. Charles has various volunteer opportunities available around the parish including areas of need in the distribution center, as a transportation volunteer or as an interior or exterior household cleaner.
Dias said the best way to sign up to volunteer and to stay up to date on distribution locations is to visit www.uwaysc.org or to follow the agency’s Facebook page.
Donations will continue to be accepted into the foreseeable future, Dias added. The following list details some items frequently needed, and all donations can be dropped off at the River Parishes Community College, located at 13145 US-90 in Boutte.
-Food that does not require cooking
-Gas/ Gas Cans
-Paper Plates/Paper Towels/ Paper Cups
-Canned food/ can openers
-Male and female hygiene supplies:
-Razors/ Shaving Cream
-Gold Bond Powder
-Zip Lock Bags ( Large 1 gallon – 5 gallon)
-Diapers/ Baby Food
-Home cleaning supplies
-Industrial Sized Trash Bags
-Large Tote Containers
-Flashlights/battery operated radios/batteries
-New clothes/short pants/tshirts/all sizes
*Used clothing donations will not be accepted at this time.