This is a catastrophe

Tuesday from Lake Charles

We are hearing many stories of personal pain from people who are coming to Mercy Chefs for meals here in Lake Charles. What these people are going through is a catastrophe and it is breaking my heart.

+ + Two hurricanes and a heart attack...

One woman tried to put up a strong front, but she couldn't hold back the tears. After Hurricane Laura struck, her husband suffered a serious heart attack that landed him in the hospital. Then Hurricane Delta hit. As a result, she is facing a second wave of hurricane destruction while her husband is still in the hospital. Amazingly, folks like this who are facing so much difficulty feel as if some of the weight is lifted as we hand them a hot meal. More often than we can count, they tell us that receiving a hot meal from Mercy Chefs is "the highlight of my day." And right now, the days are tough.

I cannot tell you how many people I have spoken with just in the past two days who told me that repairs to their roof from Laura damage had just been completed... when Delta hit. This second storm ripped their roof back off, and as a result they are facing round two of damage to the interior of their homes. Soaked insulation that must be removed. Sheetrock wet and moldy. Carpets and flooring ruined. Furniture soaked. To face this once is a nightmare. Twice in a little over a month? It's still hard to comprehend.

+ + Long lines, thousands of meals

Word is spreading quickly that Mercy Chefs is back. Yesterday, the lines just grew longer and longer -- wrapping down the street, under the neighboring highway, and back up the other side of the road. We added three distribution sites yesterday. Up to two more are coming on line today, and still the lines are long. One location initially requested 500 meals but called back late in the evening and asked for 1,000 meals. Their request doubled again today to 2,000 meals. I'm pretty sure we'll exceed yesterday's meal total of 6,300, bringing our three-day total to more than 15,000 meals.

We came stocked and ready to serve (our trucks were carrying about $50,000 worth of groceries when we arrived). But the need has far eclipsed my projections. I must make arrangements for TWO MORE TRUCKLOADS OF FOOD in the next 24-48 hours. To do so and to keep up with the increasing demand, I need the help of every Mercy Chefs friend and partner.

Will you prayerfully consider how you can help Mercy Chefs RIGHT NOW as we respond to this second hurricane strike in Southwest Louisiana? Today, we will serve over 5,000 meals. Perhaps you can sponsor 20, 50, 100, or even 500 of these meals. Every gift will help. Go here to make your tax-deductible gift to help Hurricane Delta victims:

Two storms. Seven weeks. Same place. It's almost unimaginable. The people here are broken and hurting, yet over and over again, they thank us for coming back. They are almost overwhelmed with gratitude that Mercy Chefs has returned to Lake Charles.

THANK YOU for making it possible for Mercy Chefs to help these communities. Your prayers and financial support are such a blessing to our team and to the thousands of storm victims we are helping every day.

May God bless you,

Gary LeBlanc

P.S. As I noted, the demand for meals has far exceeded my expectations. We came with $50,000 in groceries but already I need to make arrangements for two more truckloads just to keep up with the demand. If you have already donated to our Hurricane Delta efforts, THANK YOU! If not, please do so today! The need here is great. Go here to make your gift:


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