Here are ways you can help those affected by Hurricane Laura

LOUISIANA — People who were in the direct path of Hurricane Laura are now faced with the harsh reality of the damage a Category 4 hurricane can cause.

“The walls have water we’re just hoping these don’t fall on us while we’re in here,” Kaitlynn and Jeremy Hollier walked through their Lacassine, Louisiana home for the first time and survey the damage. “It’s really bad, the roof is really bad, there’s water in the house. This is my yard. My neighbor’s shed is here, it came from over there.”

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On top of not having any electric and preparing not to have it for another four to six weeks, the humidity and rain is causing mold to grow out of control.

It’s not just the Hollier’s home.

“We’ve had people show up to their homes and it’s just a slab,” Hollier said.

It’s nearly every home and building in Southwest Louisiana.

“You’d like to snap your fingers and everything to be fixed,” Hollier said.

The family thought even if their home is damaged, they could stay with family until it’s fixed.

“My family does not have livable homes right now,” Hollier said. “There’s trees through them, ceilings collapsed.”

So, with their four daughters, the Hollier’s have been living in hotels.

It’s the current reality that many families are now facing in Southwest Louisiana and Southeast Texas.

“We’ve been there 8 years and we’ve done a lot to make that house our own and that’s where all of our children have grown up,” Hollier said. “We’ve lived there almost the entire time we’ve been married. It’s painful to see the damage.”

What families like the Hollier’s need is help from people like those in the Miami Valley.

People who have seen the devastation big weather events can cause.

Because this process for those in Louisiana is far from over.

“We need water, bug spray, shelter, air bnb’s, hotel rooms, gas money, food,” Hollier said.

The Hollier’s do have an aunt whose home sustained minimal damage and they’ll be able to stay there until their home is livable again.

“We just have to wait until the contractor gets our house fixed up so we can get our babies back and so we can start rebuilding our home,” Hollier said.

Here are organizations that are currently assisting families in Southwest Louisiana and ways to help:

WAYS TO HELP:

STATEWIDE

* Volunteer Louisiana Foundation Disaster Fund: https://www.volunteerlafoundation.org/donate

SOUTHWEST/LAKE CHARLES AND SURROUNDING AREAS

* Community Foundation of Southwest Louisiana  Hurricane Relief and Recovery Fund: https://www.foundationswla.org/hurricane-relief 

* United Way of Southwest Louisiana Hurricane Laura Response: https://www.foundationswla.org/hurricane-relief

ACADIANA AREA

* Community Foundation of Acadiana Disaster Response Fund: https://www.cfacadiana.org/responsefund

ADDITIONAL HURRICANE SUPPORT OPPORTUNITIES

* Baton Rouge Area Foundation Hurricane Relief and Recovery Fund: https://www.braf.org/

* United Way of Southeast Louisiana Disaster Relief: https://www.unitedwaysela.org/

* United Way of Northeast Louisiana Hurricane Laura Fund: http://unitedwaynela.org/disaster.php

* NVOAD (National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster) to learn more about member agencies and to provide financial support to a NVOAD, visit: https://www.nvoad.org/current-members/

You can also visit https://volunteerlouisiana.gov/donate for more information and links to disaster recovery funds.

— SWLA Center for Health Services: givebox.com/swlacenterforhealthservices54062

— United Way: Financial: text LAURA to 40403 or unitedwayswla.org/Donate. Volunteering: unitedwayswla.org/VolunteerForm. Donations of good or services: unitedwayswla.org/donations. Shelter info: La211ShelterInfo.org

— Second Harvest Food Bank - Feeding South Louisiana: no-hunger.org/disasterresponse/

— Community Foundation of Southwest Louisiana: www.foundationswla.org/hurricane-relief

— Cajun Navy Relief: www.cajunnavyrelief.com