Group from Eaton Rapids heading to Louisiana to assist with hurricane disaster relief

First Baptist Church of Eaton Rapids is collecting supplies for the Southwestern Louisiana community.
Local group heads to Louisiana to help with hurricane relief.
Local group heads to Louisiana to help with hurricane relief.(WILX)
Published: Sep. 24, 2020 at 5:34 PM EDT
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EATON RAPIDS, Mich. (WILX) - The Hurricane Laura efforts have fallen off the front page.

But, there are people here in Mid-Michigan working to help.

After seeing the devastating damage left from Hurricane Laura in Louisiana, the people at First Baptist Church of Eaton Rapids wanted to find a way they could help...especially because for some... the storm literally hit home.

“I’m originally from Louisiana,” said Chris Ridler, the associate pastor at First Baptist Church of Eaton Rapids.

Ridler grew up near Lake Charles, Louisiana- a city that is still recovering from severe flooding.

“The damage is a lot more devastating than hurricanes in the past,” said Ridler.

Familiar with the area, Ridler understands that this hurricane damage on top a pandemic will be difficult to recover from.

“It’s not really a wealthy area of the country and people and just like most people around don’t have 10,000 or 20,000 sitting in their bank account to care for these disasters,” he said.

That’s why Ridler and 12 others are headed down to Lake Charles to help.

“One trailer is going to be filled with supplies just for them. All the equipment that we are buying to do the clean-up work that we are doing, we are leaving it there for them,” said Ridler. “We are trying to do everything we can to not just go, but we want to impact and do as much as we can.”

This good deed is inspiring other community members who may be too young to travel to Louisiana, but want to give a helping hand.

“The damage is really bad down there,” said 10-year-old Noah Ridler.

“We were doing a lemonade stand to have fun, but then we thought we could raise up the money for the hurricane and supplies,” added 10-year-old Tyler Matthews.

The money from their lemonade stand went on to buy supplies from a growing list of needs.

Ridler says they are currently collecting paper goods, cleaning supplies, hygiene and household items and food.

“In a world were there is a lot of things going on, this is one thing we can do,” said Ridler. “We can put our feet to action, our finances to action, and we can do something for people that are hurting.”

The First Baptist Church of Eaton Rapids is taking hurricane-relief donations until Monday. The volunteers will leave next Tuesday and stay in Louisiana to help until October 6.

Below is a list of items that are still needed. The items in red are ones that were added this week.

The ones in blue are needed the most. The items in teal are needed, but they have an abundant of supply of.

Hurricane relief donation list
Hurricane relief donation list(WILX)

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