(Shreveport, LA) – United Way of Northwest Louisiana (UWNWLA), LSU Health Shreveport, and Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport held a collection drive for Hurricane Ida evacuees last week resulting in over a dozen boxes of the most urgently needed items. Items collected were newly purchased comfort clothes, toiletry items, and universal and grocery gift cards to assist evacuees with essential needs, such as gas, food, and clothing.

“LSU Health Shreveport welcomed the opportunity to assist the United Way of Northwest LA in meeting the needs of these unfortunate citizens who were impacted by Hurricane Ida. All of us need to do our part to help Louisiana recover from this catastrophic hurricane,” shared David Lewis, MD, Interim Chancellor of LSU Health Shreveport.  

Hundreds of evacuees with specialized medical needs from south Louisiana traveled to Northwest Louisiana to stay at the Special Needs & Medical Shelter at the Bossier Civic Center. Last week, the shelter held 130 nursing home patients, senior citizens, and evacuees with medical needs. The general population shelter on Jewella Avenue welcomed nearly 1000 evacuees, including nursing home patients, senior citizens, drive-up evacuees, and evacuees that were bussed to the shelter. These individuals were transported back to their homes in south Louisiana which left the focus on evacuees at the Bossier Civic Center.

“Having provided medical care to evacuees in the shelters, our team has seen firsthand the need for supplies. The recovery efforts are not limited to infrastructure; we want to help ensure our fellow Louisianians meet their basic needs. Being a part of statewide organizations, those who live south of us who were impacted by Hurricane Ida are considered our community too. During the winter storms in February, we were provided many resources and even staff from South Louisiana. It is important to our team that we can give back and contribute to the recovery, health, and wellness of those affected,” said Chuck Daigle, Chief Executive Officer, Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport.

“When Northwest Louisiana is in a crisis, there is no question of whether or not we can count on our community partners,” said Dr. Bruce Wilson Jr., UWNWLA President & CEO. “When the number of evacuees was increasing daily, it was more important than ever to have all hands on deck, and LSU Health Shreveport and Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport answered the call to action. We are proud to partner with them and call them our ally as we battle the aftereffects of Hurricane Ida together.”

Monetary donations are also being accepted through UWNWLA’s emergency response fund. UWNWLA initially launched the United for NWLA Fund in 2020 to assist families and individuals impacted financially by the effects of COVID-19. The fund later expanded to provide assistance to families displaced to Northwest Louisiana due to Hurricane Laura. Donations to the United for NWLA Fund will now be donated to United Ways in South Louisiana to help support their long-term disaster relief efforts.

To contribute to the United for NWLA Fund and to learn more, please visit https://unitedwaynwla.org/UNITEDFORNWLA/.