Local organization steps up to help Hurricane Ida evacuees

Published: Sep. 3, 2021 at 5:11 PM CDT
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - Hurricane Ida has passed, but many people are still affected by the damage it caused to their homes. A local organization is responding to the needs of the evacuees in Meridian by giving away food bags.

The Wesley House gave out hurricane relief bags to about 60 evacuees currently staying at the La Quinta Inn. Organizers said their mission is to help others in need.

“This is what we do. It is a part of who we are. We are trying to help folks that are in need. Our mission statement is to give a hand up to those in need. It does not matter where you are at on the social-economical level because these folks are in need,” said David Schultz, Wesley Hosue executive director.

Many of these evacuees have lost everything and have nothing left. One man, overwhelmed with emotion, walked away from an interview when he thought about the damage to his home. A woman said she doesn’t even know if her home is still standing.

“It is very sad. A lot of my neighbors all got flooded. All the cars, some people lost their vehicles. A lot of people are still here in the Meridian area, different areas, and hotels,” said evacuee Patricia Touchard.

The idea for this giveaway came about when one of the workers at the hotel was checking in over 100 evacuees in one week and said something had to be done.

“Generally, I deal with the public as much as possible as far as trying to give back. Working here at the La Quinta and seeing the evacuees, you know, first hand it really touched my heart. Any way I can, I try to give back and help out as much as possible. So I saw an opportunity and I jumped on it,” said La Quinta employee, Kevin Shaweer.

Wesley House said it will continue to help evacuees by providing clothes and food.

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