LIVINGSTON PARISH, LA (WAFB) - Many families in Livingston Parish are still getting back into their homes after the August 2016 flood. The last thing they need is having to spend money on kids' uniforms.
Brenda Miller's home in Livingston Parish took on six feet of water in August. "We had to put money out for furniture and beds for the children and for us, buy clothes and things we needed," said Miller.
Even though they have moved back in, they're still working on the home and every penny saved is used to buy something they need. She has two grand children, both of whom go to public schools in Livingston Parish. One is in high school, the other in elementary.
"It would be tremendously helpful. I'm taking care of the kids because I'm taking care of the kids while their mom is on a long deployment," said Miller.
She's referring to uniforms for the children. Fifty barrels, donated by Essay Contracting out of Mississippi, will go to businesses all over the parish on Friday, where residents can d rop off new or gently used school uniforms.
"There are a lot of people scratching their heads and trying to figure out how they're going to get back to school with uniforms, all the books and things they have to buy, shoes. This takes a great burden off of them," said Livingston Parish President Layton Ricks.
It's the first time ever Livingston Parish is putting on the Rock the Halls uniform drive. Prior to the flood, the parish had 26,000 children enrolled in more than 40 schools. Superintendent Rick Wentzel says there were 600 fewer students enrolled after the flood. Last September, the school system donated 10,000 uniforms to children who needed them.
This year, they're hoping to collect at least another 10,000 uniforms.
"That's just a little bit of money that they don't have to necessarily worry about, trying to clothe their child, that they can put into their homes and continue to rebuild their lives," said Wentzel.
"This flood didn't just affect the parents. It affected the kids too," said Ricks.
Ricks says uniforms put children back in school and give them some sense of normalcy. As for parents, they get a bit more to spend on other needs. "It would be a big help for me and their mother because she's a single mom," said Miller.
Anyone wishing to make a monetary donation to buy new uniforms can send the tax deductible donations to:
- 9270 Cockerham Rd., Denham Springs, LA, 70726
All collected donations will be dry cleaned and then handed out to children on August 5 at the Live Oak Elementary School cafeteria and at the French Settlement High School gym from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Quick N Handy and Maurice Keen will be donating their services for dry cleaning.
If you would like to volunteer to help on August 5, please email email@example.com.
Livingston Parish officials are also looking for people who would be willing to put barrels in their businesses so people can d rop off uniforms. Email the above address if you're interested.
Uniform donations can be dropped off at the following locations:
- Albertsons (Denham Springs)
- Carter's (Albany)
- Carter's (Springfield)
- Carters (Denham Springs)
- Chick-Fil-A (Denham Springs)
- Coburn's (Denham Springs)
- Demco (Central)
- Demco (Livingston)
- Livingston Parish libraries
- Albany/Springfield Branch
- Denham Springs/Walker Branch
- Livingston Parish Main Branch (Livingston)
- South Branch (French Settlement)
- Watson Branch
- Oak Point Fresh Market (Watson)
- Peak Performance Physical Therapy (Denham Springs)
- Quick & Handy (Denham Springs)
- Raising Cane's (Denham Springs)
- Spectrum Fitness (Denham Springs)
- Walmart (Denham Springs and Watson)