Thursday P.M. from Lake Charles

Our team visited Cameron Parish earlier today -- GROUND ZERO of Hurricane Laura's strike on the Louisiana coast -- as part of our daily distribution to the people in this totally devastated region.

The northeast part of Laura's eyewall had CAT-5 winds, and the damage is everywhere. Trees leveled. Homes that looked like they exploded.
We saw an entire 30-car train that was blown off its tracks. 

+ + Waiting for the insurance adjuster... then the bulldozer

We're working with a church in Cameron that had its main building destroyed, yet the church members are still reaching out to their neighbors.

One woman -- a resident of Cameron Parish who is helping distribute relief to the community -- said there was nothing she could do at her house but wait for the insurance adjuster... and then the bulldozer. Her house is a total loss. So she decided to serve. It's humbling to even work alongside folks like these who have been through so much yet are still reaching out to their community.

One week after the storm hit, Cameron still hasn't seen any government relief. No FEMA. Nothing. Mercy Chefs meals have become a lifeline for the folks here, including town officials, emergency workers, power crews, and residents who are just now returning to pick up the pieces. Your support of Mercy Chefs is helping to sustain this community so that they can even begin to think about rebuilding.

+ + Adding 1,000 more meals tomorrow; need help 

Every day, the demand for meals grows. We've added 1,500 additional meals since Tuesday. Tomorrow, we'll add another 1,000 meals as we begin serving a new community 30 minutes north of Lake Charles. That increase will double again by Saturday as more and more evacuees return to their homes and Mercy Chefs is just about the only place in town to get a hot meal!

Simply put, I need more help today than we needed just a few days ago, and by this weekend the grocery costs will be staggering.

Can I count on your support as we reach thousands more folks in this devastated region right now? Go here to make your tax-deductible gift directly to Mercy Chefs:

If you can donate $50, you'll be helping us serve 20 meals to hurricane victims here tomorrow through the weekend. We can reach 40 people for $100; 100 folks for about $250; 200 for $500, or 400 for $1,000. Perhaps you can donate more. Every gift will help.

Finally, thank you for your prayers for this region. This area is still very much in crisis. Most don't have power. Few have drinkable water. It is incredibly hot right now, and to make matters worse, we're expecting the first significant rain since the storm. The first rain following a hurricane is always a hardship for who have been impacted by such a disaster. New holes appear in the roofs. The blue tarps don't hold. It feels like a major setback.

That's why we MUST be here for these folks right now -- especially as more return to this region and the reality of the difficulty of rebuilding sets in.

Thanks in advance, and God bless

Gary LeBlanc, Mercy Chefs

P.S. I know many have already given generously. With the demand increasing and our need to serve tens of thousands of meals through this weekend, I'm asking every Mercy Chefs' friend to prayerfully consider making a contribution in the next 24 hours to help us meet the surging demand. If you haven't yet donated to our Hurricane Laura relief, please do so today. If you can donate again, it would be a great blessing for these people. The next 72 hours are critical. Go here: