CINCINNATI, Ohio— After Hurricane Laura hit Louisiana earlier this week, many volunteer groups in Ohio made their way south to help.
What You Need To Know
- Mary and Mark Howell have been volunteers with the Red Cross for two years and have been helping in Louisiana for the last week
- The Howells have been training, stocking warehouses and assessing damage the last week. Soon, they will be assigned to a shelter closer to the damage
- Matthew 25 Ministries sent down necessary supplies with seven staff members this weekend
The devastation in Louisiana comes when many are already struggling across the country. Mark and Mary Howell of Centerville have volunteered with the Red Cross for two years. They knew they wanted to help those that needed it most.
“It’s always good to help others,” Mary Howell said. “We’re happy to be here to be able to help wherever we’re needed.”
The couple has already been in Louisiana for over a week, spending the majority of the time in Baton Rouge stocking warehouses and assessing damage. Soon they will be sent to a shelter closer to harder hit areas.
“The Red Cross works closely with first responders, local officials,” Mark Howell said. “So after they give us the okay, we’ll move into those areas.”
Here in Cincinnati, local non-profit Matthew 25 Ministries stocked up its trucks with things like baby supplies, cleaning supplies and more to head down this weekend.
“Kind of all those daily necessities that a lot of times we take for granted but during this time are so needed for the people that are there,” Ben Williams the disaster relief coordinator at Matthew 25 Ministries said.
The Matthew 25 Ministries Disaster Relief team tends to help out during hurricane season every year. The organization says it couldn’t do it without local partners and the community.
“That’s one of the great things about the city of Cincinnati and the greater Cincinnati area is just the support that we get any time that there is a situation that we have to respond to, the community always rallies behind us,” Williams said.
For volunteers and staff members with both groups, they say helping those that need it most is the least they can do.
“It’s a relief to people to see others who care for them and that are willing to come into their communities,” Mark Howell said. “People who don’t know them are willing to come into their communities to lend a helping hand.”
“These people are already struggling, they’re already maybe facing difficulties due to the pandemic and now they’ve had this hurricane hit,” Williams said. “So the items that we are able to provide are even more important now.”