DENHAM SPRINGS, La. (BRPROUD) — Bayou parishes like Lafourche are still picking up the pieces a month after Hurricane Ida made landfall. Denham Springs High School (DSHS) in Livingston Parish is reaching out to lend a helping hand.
“I have been down and it’s devastating, it’s devastating to see, you know, we were there for Hurricane Katrina and this is much worse,” said Denham Springs High teacher and football coach Ryan Fournier.
The devastation moved Fournier and his wife Emily Fournier to start a donation drive at their school.
“Emily and I were wanting to do something to help out our community, which was devastated by Hurricane Ida. All of south Louisiana Lafourche High School took a major hit. Being in Galiano, where the storm actually came onshore, they had a lot of damage to the school. We just wanted to do something to try to help out,” said Fournier.
Many Livingston Parish schools are back to normal as usual, so DSHS wanted to extend a helping hand.
“We are kind of back to normal up here in Livingston and within the school system. I mean, those kids are still not back and those kids are still, you know, at home and cleaning up yards and cleaning up debris. So we just felt like it would be a good opportunity to try to just get back to our community,” Fournier explained.
Students have brought supplies to their homeroom class.
“It’s been fantastic. You know, we’ve gotten a lot of supplies. We’ve been getting everything from dry erase boards, some markers to erasers to pencils and ink pens. We’ve also gotten a lot of monetary donations as well. We’re hoping for one to help support the kids and not only the kids, but the teachers,” said Fournier.
Fournier said it’s personal.
“We have families who are, you know, involved in the school, and so both of our families on a personal note, have lost homes and have lost belongings,” he explained.
He said DSHS also knew how it felt to be without after the Flood of 2016.
“We know the people of Denham Springs have been so good to us. And we knew they, you know, could sympathize a little bit knowing what happened here in 2016 with the floods. and people have been tremendous with this outpouring of support. And, you know, we just want to try to help out as best we can,” said Fournier.
“They’ve kind of been in our shoes before, and you know that they know the importance of, you know, communities coming together and helping other communities,” said South Lafourche High School teacher and football coach Brian Young.
He said they are making the best out of a bad situation.
“The school is in bad shape, we can’t get into the field house, you know, a few days after the storm. Me and the coaches got in there and got everything that we could save, you know, try to save the season,” said Young.
The smallest donations make the biggest difference.
“It’s like Christmas for him, you know, so they are so thankful and to see that another community is going to reach out and help. It’ll mean the world to them,” he said.
“It’s been a, you know, really humbling to see the outreach, you know, from this community and from the kids who, you know, truly care about, you know, other students who might be, you know, struggling right now,” Fournier added.
Denham Springs High will be collecting donations for another week.