A Lake Charles, Louisiana, home destroyed by Hurricane Laura, seen Sept. 18. (Photo: Will Schnyer/Western Area Power via Flickr)

A Hurricane Laura Relief Effort for North Lake Charles, Louisiana, has been launched by School Committee vice chair Manikka Bowman.

Lake Charles was hit by the Category 4 hurricane Aug. 26, causing $20 billion in damage – a devastating blow for a region where 18 percent of the population lives below the federal poverty level and 51 percent of households struggle to make ends meet, said Bowman, a former resident of the city.

Bowman said the city’s Black Heritage Gallery is a partner in her relief efforts; locally she and friends Debby Irving – who has traveled to Lake Charles with Bowman – and Beth Milkovits are collecting donations through the Beth & Marty Milkovits Fund, a donor-advised fund at the Cambridge Community Foundation. (Beth Milkovits is clerk for the foundation’s board of directors.)

The effort launched last week and has already secured 27 online donations. The first $5,000 raised will be matched by an anonymous donor, Bowman said.

“Our country is experiencing so much pain due to the effects of climate change. I’m elated to see the people of Cambridge finding value in helping the community that developed me to be the leader in the city I now call home,” Bowman said.

Donations can be made here. For information, contact Bowman at [email protected].


This post was written from a press release.