Faith-based group organizes furniture & supply giveaway for Ida survivors

Published 12:05 am Wednesday, August 10, 2022

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LAPLACE — Faith-based nonprofit group Angels Serving With a Purpose is traveling from Texas to deliver hope to Hurricane Ida survivors in St. John the Baptist Parish with a cleaning supplies and furniture giveaway.

The distribution will begin at 11 a.m. Friday, August 19 at 321 Events – Skye the Event Place, located at 2021 W. Airline Highway in LaPlace. Owner/operator Lachandra Morris has worked closely with the Texas nonprofit group to provide space for the community giveaway.

Angels Serving With a Purpose is guided by a mission of serving those who don’t have the strength, resources or means to help themselves during disasters, emergencies or less fortunate situations.

The organization is based around 1 Peter 4:10-11, which reads, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.”

Virginia Valentine founded Angels Serving With a Purpose in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Countless individuals lost their homes without having insurance or the financial means to bounce back. While Red Cross and other entities were able to provide vouchers for clothing and other necessities, it wasn’t enough to get the survivors back on their feet.

“That’s when I decided to step in to purchase furniture to help them on their road to recovery,” Valentine said.

Angels Serving With a Purpose expanded its reach across Texas, providing aid to storm survivors in Houston, Beaumont, Port Arthur and other areas. The organization continued to grow past state lines, serving cities in North Carolina and Mississippi after disasters.

When Valentine saw the path of devastation that Hurricane Ida tore through LaPlace and surrounding areas, she knew she had to help. Correspondence with St. John Parish administration led her to form connections with members of the community, including New Wine Christian Fellowship Pastor Neil Bernard, 321 Events owner/operator Lachandra Morris, and Willma Harvey of Louisiana’s River Parishes Tourist Commission.

The distribution event will include mops, brooms, laundry baskets, school supplies and plenty of home goods such as fine china, in addition to large-scale items including fully furnished bedroom and dining sets. Valentine wants the distribution space to feel as grandiose as a furniture showroom.

“We want to bless those that are in need or hurting. Prices have gone up since the storm hit a year ago. Individuals might have had to choose between meals and cleaning supplies because of inflation,” Valentine said. “Once we do this as a beginning, then we can see how much need is still out there, and I’ll come back again. I’m willing and ready to. We want to put a smile on people’s faces because we never know when a storm will hit.”

This event is made possible through generosity and support from others who share Valentine’s vision of making a difference in the lives of those enduring tough times.

The following entities have partnered with Angels Serving With a Purpose for the LaPlace distribution: St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office, 321 Events – Skye the Event Place Grand Venue, churches in Texas and Louisiana, Hannah Chapter No. 12 O.E.S., Thompson Delivery – Houston and Morton Masonic Lodge #72.