Local Mom, Daughters ‘Show Louisiana Some Love’

local mother and her two daughters want to help the flooding victims in Louisiana and are looking for the community’s support.
Kristine, Katherine and Caroline Alderfer plan to “show Louisiana some love” by collecting donated items to help the flooding victims. They started accepting donations Wednesday.
They’re calling the campaign “Louisiana Love.” Katherine, 10, came up with the name.
“I think it’s important to teach your children about compassion for other people, and these people are having a really hard time and they’re right here in our country and we can help them. We have the means to help them. So I said to (my daughters) we needed to do something, and this is what we decided to do,” Kristine said.
CNN reported Wednesday that more than 20 inches of rain has fallen in and around Baton Rouge since last week with more on the way. The disaster is blamed for at least 11 deaths, and the U.S. Coast Guard and other first responders rescued more than 20,000 people over last weekend.
Donations for Louisiana will be accepted until Aug. 25 and can be dropped off at Sacred Heart Church, 135 N. Harrison St., Warsaw. There will be boxes for collections inside the doors. If the doors happen to be locked when a person wants to drop off their donations, Kristine said there’s a little vestibule area where they can be dropped off.
“We do have some volunteers who will pick up some items from people, if people can’t get them here or don’t have transportation or it doesn’t work out with their schedule. We have people that will come and get them,” Kristine said.
She said she would prefer not to take monetary donations, but gift cards to stores like Walmart will be accepted and given to flood victims.
For Kristine, there’s an underlying interset between her family and conditions in  Louisiana because her daughter, Katherine, suffers from Juvenile Myositis, a group of rare and life-threatening autoimmune diseases in which the body’s immune system attacks its own cells and tissues. Katherine was diagnosed with JM when she was 3 years old.
“We have a lot of (Juvenile Myositis) families in Louisiana, and it’s just been on my heart. They’ve just been so devastated, going through so much with all the flooding. So the girls and I decided we should try to do something to help, and so we reached out to a couple of the families down there who turned to their churches to ask what do people need. So that’s how we came up with a list of items we’re looking for,” Kristine said.
“My initial contact down there is a JM family and their church,” she said. “So they are right in the middle of the disaster area. For some people, the water hasn’t stopped. The rain has stopped, but the levies are overflowing and the water keeps coming. We’re talking about big neighborhoods with houses completely damaged.”
Items needed are: diapers (regular and pull up), Band Aids, razors, brushes, mouth wash, Tylenol, ibuprofen (adult and children), cleaning supplies, Clorox wipes, baby bottles, pacifiers, toiletries, baby formula, reusable shopping bags, underwear (new in package), snack foods, back packs and school supplies.
No clothing items or water will be accepted, and new items are preferred.
“One of the things they need is reusable shopping bags, so I did put that on our list, and my hope is that we can sort through the items and package them so we can just hand off bags to people,” Kristine said.