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|Gustav hits state's crop yields hard|
Flooding victims in Franklin Parish received about 70 percent of the aid given by the Red Cross in all Northeast Louisiana and pulled in volunteers nationwide during the recent Hurricane Gustav disaster.
A total of 33 volunteers worked in the parish either as damage assessors or as caseworkers, according to Ann Patten, executive director of the Northeast Louisiana Chapter of the American Red Cross in Monroe Monday.
"Seven of those were New York City firefighters," she said of the two waves of volunteers who were assigned duties in the area.
The volunteers were responsible for the distribution of gifts of $72,400 for the replacement of essential goods and food to the residents of 104 households in Franklin Parish. In the entire region, Red Cross make financial contributions to 140 households, Patton said.
Beverly Miller, a resident of Lebanon, Mo., directed a cadre of 15 other caseworkers in the Parish.
"We found a tremendous amount of resiliency in the community," she said. "People were ready to get on with their lives."
"The gifts we made were for people to replace food, clothing and bedding." Miller added.
She said. "As shelters close and people go back to their homes, we want to make sure they can stay in those homes."
A total of 17 assessment volunteers spent over 800 man hours setting the stage for caseworkers that would determine how much each household would receive from the Red Cross.
"Gifts were made based on need and size of family," she said.
Both Miller and Patten stressed the Red Cross gifts are made without consideration of income, but "on designation as major damage, such as three feet of water or loss of food, clothing or bedding."
Outside of direct financial assistance, the charitable organization gave out 208 cleanup kits to people in Franklin parish along with 3,200 bottles of water, snacks or meals.
Patten added the Red Cross perpetually needs funds to replace its disaster efforts.
Locally, donations by check can be sent to: Northeast Louisiana Chapter American Red Cross, 414 Breard St., Monroe, LA, 71201