Nine months after Hurricane Ida ravaged southern Louisiana, there are still families feeling the devastating effects of loss and hopelessness after this natural disaster. One such family is that of Rita Edwards and her husband, Samuel, who live in Gibson.

Throughout the years, the Edwards family home has been devasted by multiple hurricanes impacting the Louisiana coast. Since Hurricane Ida, they have struggled mightily to recover. Like many families in southern Louisiana whose homes have been damaged, the promised aid to help rebuild and recover has never come.

Rita Edwards and her family have been unable to get the assistance they needed to rebuild. So, like others, they make do with what they have. Black mold and structural damage are two problems that Edwards' family experiences on a daily basis. Living in unsafe conditions compromises the mental and physical health of the entire family. Yet, they remain grateful for their home and safety of their family.

When Sylvie Langevin, founder of RISE, delivered supplies to Hurricane Ida victims fall of 2021, she met Rita Edwards. They were both volunteering to help those whose lives have been impacted by the storm.

Like anyone who meets Mrs. Rita, she and Sylvie quickly developed a friendship. Despite her own losses Mrs. Rita prioritizes helping those less fortunate than her. “When I volunteered after Ida, I used the resources I received to give to everyone else, I didn’t keep it for myself …I volunteered for other people who are not fortunate enough to have what I had.” Langevin knew the Edwards family home suffered structural damage, but when she learned they had received no assistance, she immediately decided to help. "Mrs. Rita is in need of assistance.

Her husband has serious health problems, and their son is immunocompromised. If we don't act now, what will happen to them during the 2022 storm season?”

On May 3, 2022 a team of RISE Volunteers traveled from out of state to Rita to help repair a roof leak. It was quicky determined that the leaky roof was one of many concerns; this is when our team knew more had to be done.

RISE Disaster Relief and Recovery has launched a fundraiser requesting assistance in financing temporary rental housing for the Edwards family and replacing their home.

Our assistance is the only relief available to the Edwards family. Every donation counts.

About: The RISE Disaster Relief and Recovery Inc., (RISE) is a non-profit corporation that was founded by Sylvie Langevin and Joe Caraveo to bridge the gap between federal and private insurance disaster recovery assistance. This gap leaves homeowners such as the Edwards family without proper assistance; RISE's mission is to address the needs of people and homes not being covered by such disaster relief programs.

RISE provides comprehensive disaster relief and recovery services, including search and rescue, humanitarian assistance, basic food/water, and hygiene kits, daily hot meals, debris removal, roof tarping, minor home repairs, and guidance/information on how a family/individual can mitigate their losses as they face future storm impacts at their home.

As part of its community enrichment services, RISE offers educational materials, resources, and videos regarding storm preparedness and recovery.