Local efforts to help Hurricane Ida survivors in South Louisiana began before the storm winds died away. Find out how you can help people in the smaller towns, the ones who need it most.
- by Ellis Anderson
Kell, who earlier this week accompanied organizers Nikki Moon and Elise Epperson Deano on a trip to deliver donated supplies, said it was a very emotional experience.
“It was so amazing to see the spirit of those people, working together,” Kell said. “It reminded us so much of the Mississippi coast after Katrina.
"There were some tears shed as we drove down and saw the damage. People are still sleeping on the ground.”
Di Fillhart is the fourth organizer. Fillhart, owner of the Starfish Café and founder of the non-profit relief group Pneuma Winds of Hope, first came to Bay St. Louis as the member of a relief group post-Katrina and later decided to stay in the community she came to love.
Donations to the Southern Cs effort can be easily made through the Pneuma Winds of Hope PayPal account. Just specify in the note that the donation is for the Hurricane Ida relief efforts.
Physical supplies for the Southern Cs relief effort (see the list below) can be dropped off at
Di Fillhart is organizing trips early in the week, usually on weekdays. Deano makes delivery trips on the weekends. If someone wants to drive along and help on one for the delivery trips, they can contact either organizer through Facebook messaging or by phone (Di Fillhart – 228.229.3503 or Elise Deano at 228.466.9597) .
Epperson asks that coast businesses consider hosting their own supply drive for the Southern Cs. They simply put a box in their place of business (or at a drop-off point) and ask friends and customers to donate items from the list below. When the box is full, contact one of the organizers and they’ll pick up the supplies and transport them.
Fillhart adds that the next trip – on Monday, September 20, the volunteers will be going door-to door to assess the needs of individual households.
The situation isn't entirely humorless. Kell says that during one of the early trips, storm survivors asked for “anything fresh.” The volunteers assumed they meant fruit, while the stricken residents were especially hoping for ingredients to make the “holy trinity” of Louisiana cooking, essential ingredients for most dishes: onions, celery and bell peppers.
Needed Hurricane Relief Supplies