On August 12, 2016, Louisiana was devastated with flooding rains that were said have amounted to three times as much rainfall as the horror of Hurricane Katrina. The Red Cross labeled it, “the worst natural disaster since Hurricane Sandy,” which occurred 4 years prior. Furthermore, in the wake of damage, some 20,000 individuals had to be rescued and, sadly, some others were not as fortunate.
For those of us in Louisiana–in Baton Rouge, in particular, where MMR’s headquarters is located and where most of the flooding took place–these numbers are more than stats. They tell very personal stories about the depth and breadth of tragedy so many experienced, when over 100,000 homes and businesses were damaged by the uncontrollable waters. In those days, the fear and worry, the tears and desolation were tangible to those who were living it–some of MMR’s own employees–and those affected by proximity to the situation, knowing those who were relegated to shelters and without the comfort of their homes and the necessity of food and clothing. All of us experienced the pain.
Subsequently, all of us came together to help, to offer a hand. Graciously, so many from around the country pitched in to help the citizens of South Louisiana, and among them were staff and employees of MMR. Without question, our work family came together to offer assistance those whose lives were impacted by the flood–a testament of generosity and selflessness which made me truly proud to lead such a team.
Undoubtedly, many are still recovering from the flood. The damage it caused was not in any way slight, and thousands are still reeling and piecing together their own lives. Yet one thing that is apparent is our ability to come together in the wake of tragedy; to, as a people, manufacture hope in an environment of hopelessness.
To be clear, MMR is not alone in possessing this skill. The people of Baton Rouge, of Louisiana, America, even, possess a resilience and humanity that is wide in its ability to be there for those who need it most. Because of this, we will recover and be even better for it.