This past Thursday the young future leaders at Project Reclaim put together gift bags containing necessities such as toiletries, food, and water that will be sent to those affected by Hurricane Ida, the most recent hurricane to tear through large portions of southern Louisiana.
Angel Stewart, Ashlee Banks, Darnell Morris, Alayna Banks, and Kamryn Gibens took some time after preparing the bags to share their thoughts on Hurricane Ida, the victims, and what they were doing in order to help out.
The group demonstrated an emotional capacity rare in individuals so young to empathize with the people who had lost greatly as a result of Ida.
“I can’t really put myself in their shoes, because I don’t know what I’d do if something like that happened to us. It makes me a little emotional,” said Morris.
“It was a very unexpected tragedy that damaged a lot of people’s homes and lifestyles,” said Gibbens.
With an understanding of what people are going through, making these bags is a way for the students of Project Reclaim to not only make a difference but to also be able to connect with those they are helping.
Stewart added, “When I was making the bag, I was just thinking about what everyone was going through. How much stuff was destroyed, and how much they needed to be able to get back on their feet.”
“It makes you put yourself in their shoes,” commented Alayana Banks. “I love that we’re helping them out, because if we were put in their position, we would want them to help us too.”
Ashlee Banks said, “I feel like it changes our perspectives. We’re here living normal, but they’re out of a home, out of money, they don’t have the life essentials that we have.”
By the end of the discussion, it was clear that the members of Project Reclaim were there not only to better themselves but also to better the lives of others as well.
“Project Reclaim, it’s an environment where we help everybody. It doesn’t matter who they are or what they do, we help everybody,” said Gibbens.
“And don’t get me wrong, we’re not done either. We have more stuff to do,” added Banks.