BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The need for continued assistance for flood victims was highlighted after a free shopping event ran out of available spaces just a couple days after it was first advertised. The organization that hosted the event is now offering an additional day to distribute the remaining goods, but this time it will be on a first-come-first-serve basis.
"No appointment or pre-registration is required," reads an email alert from the Urban League of Louisiana. "Please bring a photo ID and your FEMA letter/FEMA# to establish your eligibility to shop."
On Friday, Nov. 4, flood victims can go to Cortana Mall between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. to select from the free new personal and household items that were donated by manufactures and retailers. Over $3 million in product has been donated to K.I.D.S/Fashion Delivers, a national charity.
"Our relationships with product donors allows us to provide new, essential items to help residents rebuild after the disaster," said Lisa Gurwitch, the president and CEO of K.I.D.S./Fashion Delivers.
Although the amount of items donated seems like a lot, it's only a small fraction when considering that well over 100,000 families were impacted by flooding.
"We knew it would go fast, but we had no idea it would go that fast," said Executive Vice President for the Urban League of Louisiana Cathy Washington when asked if she was surprised by how quickly the available spaces were filled. "It really shows how big the demand is."
The initial radio ads for the first event began on Wednesday, October 19. By Friday, over 1,000 families had registered and the spaces were full. Although the event was a success, many flood victims were left out of the process due to the registration.