This week marks the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. While it’s a time of remembrance, it is also a time that is hard here in Louisiana and the Gulf Coast. I’ve been seeing updates from Facebook friends, commenting about how depressed it makes them feel. Yes, it is depressing to remember the disaster. It’s also a point where we can look back at a time where helping hands were extended in an extreme time of need.
I worked during Hurricane Katrina and I have many coworkers and friends who lost their homes and jobs. Many of the communities that were devastated still haven’t been recognized, as most of the media focus always seemed to be on the 9th Ward. Heck, it makes me tear up just writing this post.
Some really bad things happened during Katrina. People lost more than homes. Many people lost their lives. It was a weird, apocolyptic time around here where people were afraid and angry. They were tired. They were hungry. And they felt helpless.
I was one of the lucky ones. My home was new and in neighborhood that didn’t flood. Katrina is the time when we found out we were on the same grid as the local electric company’s main office. We were the first people in the state to get electricity after Katrina. And because I work in emergency services, my home became the haven for many of my coworkers during Katrina and Gustav who were in need of a hot meal, a shower, and clean clothes.
It’s amazing how much better a person can feel both physically and mentally after getting cleaned up. Tide understands this and during disasters they deploy Tide Loads of Hope, a mobile system where citizens, emergency workers, and volunteers can drop off their laundry and pick up clean, fresh clothes during times of need. They’ve been to Galveston, New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Fargo, and Waterloo to assist during hurricanes and floods. Their service in New Orleans lasted almost 60 days and they helped more than 10,000 by washing over 13,000 loads of clothes.
Tide Loads of Hope mission didn’t end when they left the area. This week, they are sponsoring a free concert in New Orleans featuring Faith Hill, with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band as opening act. A very special blogger, Megan from VelveteenMind.com and StoryBleed, invited TravelingMamas.com to attend this remembrance concert and she may not even be aware of how much it means to me personally, to be included.
We all know there’s still a ways to go in rebuilding. At TravelingMamas.com, we feel it’s important to show support for companies that give back and to shine a positive spotlight on areas affected by disasters, be they natural or man made. You can show your support of Tide Loads of Hope by visiting the ad below.
Be sure to follow @tideloadsofhope @velveteenmind @faithhill and @storybleed on Twitter. Follow me, @Cajun_Mama for live updates from the concert (AT &T coverage permitting). This post is part of the StoryBleed blog carnival Hope Remains.
Disclosure: There are so many things I want to say about what went on and what I experienced, but due to my employment contract, I am unable to write about most things that occur during any disaster.