We just deployed our THIRD KITCHEN to a second community -- the town of Sulphur. That means even more meals tomorrow. We need help. Go here to help sponsor meals, and see below for the latest. --Gary
It's hard to describe just how difficult things are here in Lake Charles...
For starters, the vast majority of the people here have had NO ELECTRICITY and NO WATER for five days, and local officials aren't hopeful that the situation will improve soon. Five of six water treatment plants are still totally inoperable. Streets are blocked everywhere. We haven't even seen power crews in the neighborhoods yet. Local officials can only say that the people here "should expect" power and water "to be out for WEEKS!"
+ + Oppressive heat making things even worse
To make matters even worse, IT IS EXTREMELY HOT RIGHT NOW. This is the second hottest deployment in our history. The heat index reached 107 degrees yesterday. If you have any health complications, with no air conditioning it is hard to breathe.
We always provide water, but with the oppressive heat, our team decided to put water bottles on ice and offer ice-cold water with the meals.
I can hardly describe the response from the folks here. More people than I can count simply burst into tears as we handed them a cold bottle of water. It reminded me of Jesus' encouragement that there is a great reward for sharing a "cup of cold water"...
"If anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward."
+ + Deploying Third Kitchen Today; Thousands more meals
Yesterday, we sent about 1,000 meals to nearby Sulphur, Louisiana -- another community that has been extremely hard hit and has received even less aid and support. Very quickly, we realized 1,000 meals wouldn't be enough, so I deployed a third Mercy Chefs mobile kitchen to Sulphur. By tomorrow, we will be running a full relief crew based in Sulphur, along with our main base of operations in Lake Charles.
Yesterday, we served thousands of meals. Now that we're adding a second base of operations, we'll add thousands more daily.
Once again, I'm turning to dear friends like you. Will you partner with me to bring "a cup of cold water" and a hot meal to these folks in Louisiana whose lives have been devastated by this storm? Go here to make your tax-deductible gift directly to Mercy Chefs:
If you haven't yet had the opportunity to sponsor meals for Hurricane Laura victims, please do so today! Just $50 will help provide 20 hot meals; $100 will help equip us to serve 50 people a chef-prepared meal and a cup of cold water! If you donated recently, THANK YOU SO MUCH! Your generosity is making a real difference in people's lives right now.
I have so much more to share, but it's back to work. Our staff and volunteers are facing some of the most challenging conditions we've seen, but they just keep cooking. Keep serving. Keep loving. Our hearts are hurting for the folks here, and everyone is doing everything we can to bring some relief... a hot meal... a cup of cold water... a prayer of support... and helping hand.
Thank you for making it possible for our team to be an extension of God's hands for those who have suffered so much.
Gary LeBlanc, Mercy Chefs
P.S. Every day, the need grows. And the crisis isn't going away! Thanks in advance for your help! Go here: