Keep the giving spirit alive

Published 7:02 am Friday, March 18, 2016

As horrible as the flooding was, and as costly as the repercussions continue to be, it is good to see everyone working together to lend a hand to those who lost something.

I noticed this Friday, walking into a city still deluged with floodwater. Coming to the fire station in Bogalusa, I met a family who own a concrete company and they were spending their morning driving through the city in an old military vehicle, helping residents stranded at their homes from the flood.

Since the waters have receded, that community cooperation has not slackened. I am happy to report that local aid organizers like the YMCA have exceeded their expectations for donations. Now all they need are a few volunteers to help hand out and organize supplies. I am confident they’ll get their volunteers in short order.

In the coming weeks, as the federal government begins offering financial assistance to victims of the flood and as homes and businesses get back on track, the obvious needs may lessen. But not all needs will be met so easily. Restaurants and other businesses that were shuttered by the flood will have weeks of lost revenues to make up, so it is more important than ever to remember to shop locally when it’s possible.

Besides our business community, the flooding hurt some of our public spaces. Most notably, Cassidy Park will likely require weeks or months of work before it and its museums are fully repaired. The park perhaps isn’t a priority in the same way a home is, but beautiful public spaces like Cassidy Park are necessary for a quality, healthy communities. I hope after all the immediate and urgent needs of area homeowners are met, we can begin to consider fundraisers and benefits for our public spaces.

Our city leaders have asked Bogalusa citizens to come to the courthouse Tuesday evening for a town hall meeting. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss ideas to improve the town. At a time like this, when there is so much need and so much stress, it is easy to see small problems and imperfections — it is easy to complain that that relief isn’t coming fast enough or that it isn’t sufficient. But rather than complain, I hope people turn up to listen. There is plenty of need and plenty to do and, I think, there are enough people to do the work.

The question remains, are we willing?

Jesse Wright is the managing editor for The Daily News. You can email him at, or call him at (985) 732-2565, ext. 301.