Still recovering: YMCA offers help to flood victims

Published 7:05 am Friday, March 18, 2016

On Thursday, hundreds of area residents stopped by the YMCA in Bogalusa to grab bottles of water, bleach, baby formula, diapers, food, clothing and more as they continued to rebuild after floods tore through the city last week.

Vicki Vaughn, a spokesperson with Help Across Washington Parish who was also helping with the YMCA outreach efforts, said that in addition to supplies, the Y also needs volunteers.

“We’re in desperate need of volunteers throughout the week and next week as well,” she said. “Basically, we’re not accepting clothing anymore because it’s overwhelming. We need canned food toiletries, water, diapers and cleaning supplies.

“Those are the things we need, and we need volunteers to help sort these things. We have more stuff than we have help. We didn’t expect the amount of stuff we’d get.”

The supplies covered the YMCA’s gym, but within an hour after the doors opened to the public, some of the supplies were already thinning.

Debra Dean said she needed diapers but couldn’t find the right size. Dean said her home, which she shares with her daughter and grandchildren on Coburn Street, got several inches of water in it, and she was needing cleaning supplies as well as baby goods.

Dean said the donations were a big help.

“It’s very important,” she said. “Because some people don’t have any money. This will help a lot of people out. I really appreciate the help they’re doing for us.”

Dean said she didn’t work, and while her daughter has a job, “they don’t pay much where she’s at.”

The YMCA will be open Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. for anyone who would like to either drop off donations or pick up some supplies. The YMCA is likely going to remain open as a hub of support through next week.