Our state is now the "home" of over 40,000 HOMELESS households - a number reported by CNN - and growing.
We are finding dead bodies in cars and homes as some flood waters recede.
My home was threatened, so we evacuated. My childhood home is currently sandbagged and still under threat. The picture below shows my aunt's house, but it could have shown my cousin's house, local teachers' houses, or my friends' houses.
This flood event had a 1 in a 1,000 chance of happening. Imagine that. 1 in a 1,000. People don't insure (and are not advised to insure) for a 1 in a 1,000 chance of something happening. Those with flooded houses lost everything.
Yesterday, I tried grocery shopping in the local stores. Of course, food and supplies are difficult to ship on the cracking, waterlogged interstate system, so I came home and wrote this on my private Facebook page.
But the story deserves to go public.
I want to say a word about the young employees of the local grocery stores.
They are mostly very young (high school/college). They might have childhood homes that flooded and relatives who are newly homeless.
Their eyes are wide and exhausted.
The customers are running around, trying to buy things that are not on the shelves - bread, milk, fresh foods - while the stockers are working furiously.
Each customer comes with their buggy, in lines that never end, looking horrified and shocked that we have no resources or things to eat. They pull out credit cards that are about to be maxed out, after years of financial stability or, at least, the illusion of it.
Each cashier asks, sincerely, "how are you? How is your home?"
The customer answers, lips trembling and eyes watering.
Rinse and repeat.
Finally, I got to the cashier. She was maybe 18. Or 16. I bought a bunch of veggies that no one else wanted, bruised and wilted. She smiled, sort of, and asked, "how are you? How is your home?"
"I'm fine," I said.
"What about your house?"
That's when her eyes watered and her lip quivered.
We forget, sometimes, in our grief, that the children are the ones with the time and freedom to work the thankless jobs.
Kids from the local high schools are terrified, but cleaning up debris and flooded houses and bagging sand. They are children, though too old to have blissful ignorance - and their reality is a world that crashed down around them this week.
I'm worried about the teenagers of south Louisiana the most.
So that's my story. My experience this week is heartbreaking. The children are already scarred and stronger after this, but there is so much more to be done.
Loyal Readers, I am preparing some planner blog posts, but be patient. Electricity is questionable and I will be feeding and babysitting for volunteers who are tearing down houses.
The kids in south Louisiana are expected to be out of school anywhere from a week to months, depending on the locale. Classes will get larger. Homeless teachers will be teaching homeless kids.
My planner is working overtime. There just not enough time to do everything that my friends and family need to do.
You can help.
Send Your Church and Social Justice Organizations Down to Help
It's a good time for a mission trip, y'all. We need strong backs and muscles and cleaners and builders. Send us your masses.
Thanks the all the organizations who already have.
Spread the Word By Sharing This Article on Social Media with the Hashtag #LouisianaFlood2016
Please spread the word about the flooding by sharing this article about the Louisiana Flood 2016, no matter where you live.
Donate to the Recovery Effort for the Louisiana Floods
Our local paper has published an article giving you ways to help. Please consider a donation if you feel moved to do so.
Donate in Honor of Giftie
My personal favorite charity is the Louisiana School Foundation, the residential high school that I attended. They are taking in extra kids who have lost their homes and hometown schools. They are also providing the necessities - bedding, clothing, computers, school supplies, or whatever else is needed.
If you are a fan of Giftie Etcetera, even small donations to the Louisiana School Student Enrichment Fund in my name (so they know how the advertising is getting out) would be humbling and well used.
If you've ever thought about all the work I do for the planner community and wanted to thank me, this is the way. When donating, choose the "Student Enrichment Fund" as the "Designation" and "Tribute" it to my real name, Kristy Boxberger. Donations are tax deductible in the US.
If you enjoy what you read at Giftie Etcetera, please share on social media. Click here to join the Giftie Etcetera Facebook group.