Louisiana We Are Strong Relief Team distributes meals, supplies in hard-hit Cambridge subdivision

Published 2:09 pm Tuesday, September 21, 2021

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LAPLACE — Volunteers with the “Louisiana We Are Strong Relief Team” showed resilience in the face of adversity Sunday afternoon during a distribution event at the Arcuri Center in LaPlace.

Many of the volunteers handing out hot food, water and care packages in the Cambridge Subdivision either personally experienced home damage from Hurricane Ida or had family members who lost everything in the storm.

Organizer Jameika Snyder is a LaPlace native and a graduate of East St. John High School. She currently resides in Ponchatoula and operates her own tax business, but her heart is still connected to St. John the Baptist Parish.

Snyder is providing shelter to 15 friends and family members from LaPlace and Reserve who lost everything during the storm. She knows countless others are facing similar situations, and that something as small as a bottled water or hot meal can make a big difference to someone weathering life’s storms.

The distribution event included hot plates of boiled seafood for more than 250 people, bottled water, and clothing for adults and children. Juice and snacks were also handed out to families with kids, and care packages containing hand sanitizer, soap, tooth paste, tooth brushes and sanitary products were given to men and women.

Donations were supplied by business owners from Southeast Louisiana and beyond.

Volunteer Clarinda Brown said recovery is a team effort.

“We all are from St. John Parish, and we see there are a lot of things going on right now. A lot of people need our help. We want everybody to come back home, and in order for us to do that, we need to make sure they have the things that they need,” Brown said.

Seeing people impacted by Hurricane Ida touches her heart, especially since her mother, Tracy Breaux, was among those who lost everything.

Jameika Snyder’s mother, Mary Snyder, also lost everything from the home she has lived in for more than 23 years. Yet, on Sunday afternoon, she was handing out hot meals to people in the same situation as her.

Another volunteer, Brandy Adams Lewis, was displaced by the storm after her home sustained flooding and roof damage.

The volunteers said seeing everyone face the same struggles is a humbling experience and a motivation to come together as a community.

“There are some real good people from St. John Parish,” Brown said during Sunday’s event. “Without St. John Parish, I’m sorry, but you can’t make Louisiana whole. That’s the way I feel.”

District 6 Councilwoman Tonia Schnyder attended the Louisiana We Are Strong distribution on Sunday.

“Cambridge was very, very hard hit. Everybody lost something, and we’re so appreciative, especially for people like Jameika, her family, her friends and all of the volunteers who have come out and helped even though their families have lost so much. I’ve been doing this every day, and to see people steadily coming out is so heart-warming,” Schnyder said.

The following businesses contributed to the success of the event: NOLA Tax Professionals out of New Orleans, Ms. Cookie out of Texas, Honey Beads out of Baton Rouge, CiCi’s Creative Designs out of Terrytown, Jasnailed it out of Hammond, Bayou Muttz out of Reserve, Queen Lips Boutique out of Hammond, Cheese Chasers out of Baton Rouge, Get Max Tax LLC out of Ponchatoula and Metairie, Mikie’s Eatz out of Garyville and Courtney Smith’s Diva Slay Room out of Lake Charles.