x
Breaking News
More () »

Louisiana church running one-stop drive-thru donation shop for community hit by Ida

People pull up, tell volunteers what they need, and the shopping begins. No list is too hard to check off.

LAFOURCHE PARISH, La. — While the city of New Orleans and adjacent parishes start to come back to life, many in the Bayou region are still struggling. 

In the middle of all the destruction in Lafourche Parish, First Baptist Church Golden Meadow created a one-stop drive thru shop for residents to get supplies. 

It’s become a beacon of hope for so many.   

Most homes in Lafourche have no lights and no air conditioning, but the thing residents do have is each other.  

Last week First Baptist Church Golden Meadow opened a makeshift shop.

People pull up, tell volunteers what they need, and the shopping begins. No list is too hard to check off.  

“One person asked, well I need something, but you probably won’t have that,” said Pastor Matthew Chouest. “She said I need some birdseed for my bird. Well we have that!”  

Pastor Matthew Chouest said after the storm donations poured in from churches and groups across the country.   

“As fast as we are giving it out, it’s filling up from the backdoor,” Chouest said.

The community is going on almost two weeks without power. So, this boost is everything.  

“We are a small community, and everybody helps each other you know,” said Lafourche resident Dean Boudreaux. “It’s always been the same when we get storms like this, everybody steps up.”  

The stress of cleaning up, plus the endless heat, weighs heavily on everyone.

“It’s been the worst storm since I’ve been on this earth,” said Lafourche resident Kelsie Danos. “I am 29 years old and it’s the worst.”   

Danos is trying to stay strong for her three kids.  

“All of our friends are just scattered everywhere,” Danos said. “Our family, everybody is just everywhere right now. It’s just the hardest thing and I am just ready for it to be back to normal. This isn’t how we want to live.”    

The damage you’ll find driving across the parish is unimaginable.  

“So many places, so many homes, I grew up seeing, gone,” Chouest said. “It’s gut wrenching.”   

Even the sanctuary at Golden Meadows and Chouest’s own home need repair.  

Still, every day he puts his heart into helping keep the drive thru shop moving along.  

A neighborly love very unique to Louisiana.   

“We are resilient, we will come back, we will do what it takes to rebuild,” Chouest said. “But right now, we are hurting pretty bad, and a little help goes a long way.”   

The Cajun Navy was also on sight gave out meals to anyone pasting by. The pastor tells me the donation needs change almost daily! Anyone interested in giving can reach out to the church by calling 985-475-5490.