‘Project’ helps flood victims, turns focus to local issues

Published 7:06 am Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Although Project Save Bogalusa has, for the past couple of weeks, been collecting and distributing goods to victims of recent flooding in Denham Springs and Baton Rouge, Wendy Williams said the group wrapped up their efforts over the weekend.

Williams, the executive director of Project Save Bogalusa, said the group was not intended to be a flood response charity. However, she said they had experience in the area following Bogalusa’s March 11 flooding and were happy to lend a hand to neighbors to the west.

“We wrapped up on Saturday,” Williams said.

She said the group got a donated Peterbilt truck and delivered a full load of cleaning supplies, clothes, food and more to Denham Springs. In particular, Project Save Bogalusa brought fans and dishwashers to 15 Denham Springs police officers who had been flooded, and also brought fans for the police station. Williams said the dishwashers came courtesy of Bogalusa contractor Stanley Scianna.

Williams said she has no idea how many people the group might have helped with its truckload of supplies, although she said they donated over 100 toiletry kits.

However, Williams said her group will soon be returning its focus to Bogalusa.

Even as Williams and others collected goods for Denham Springs, she said she’s been meeting with Bogalusa Mayor Wendy Perrette about cleaning up the city’s blighted properties.

“We’re shifting our gears toward blight in Bogalusa,” she said.

Williams said the group recently reorganized its business plan to help Bogalusa deal with its old, decrepit buildings.

“Our specific purpose is neighborhood restoration, that’s how it’s written,” she said.

Williams added that in the coming weeks she will begin to make public the local nonprofit’s plans. She said she intends to speak at a parish council meeting, though she doesn’t know when that will be. In the meantime, she asks for patience.

“I think just sit tight, there’s going to be more volunteer events coming,” she said.