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NEW ORLEANS, La. (WGNO)- Giving back to those in need is something easy for residents in New Orleans to do. We know all too well what its like to be the ones who are needing as we approach the 15th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

“It’s so important for New Orleans to step up and help Southwest Louisiana right now because we have been through this,” explained Leila Darwish, Community Engagement. “We want to support our neighbors to the west as much as we can.”

Lake Charles residents didn’t know what they would wake to the morning after Hurricane Laura.
Now seeing the devastation and disaster, New Orleans officials and volunteers are paying it forward.

“We are really encouraging people to give financially to the groups on the ground and to the foundations that are supporting that work,” said Darwish.

If you live in New Orleans and you’re looking for a way to give back, the best way to do so is find a reputable charity that you can donate your time and money to.

“If people want to give financially, then they can give to the Community Foundation of Southwest Louisiana, Second Harvest, United Way. On the ground here in New Orleans if people want to find a way to kind of give physical donations, the Junior League of New Orleans is accepting new diapers and feminine hygiene products,” said Darwish.

There’s one group with boots already on the ground. The Red Cross is stationed at ground zero.

“Our Volunteers are out in the community. They are shifting supplies to make sure the supplies are closer to those areas impacted,” said Katy Sandusky, Regional Communications Manager.

With the donations given, volunteers will provide water, snacks, meals, supplies and support to thousands who have just lost everything. To give you an idea of how many people are still in need, there are 500,000 residents in the state without power.

Visit these site to get more information on how you can help.