Community Issues

Couple Helps Community Devastated By Hurricane

When they saw how folks were suffering, they wanted to do something to help – and quick. What they did next will inspire you.

When tragedy strikes, how do you respond? Do you curl up in a ball with a bowl of ice cream (no judgement!)? Or is your first instinct to rush to the front lines and take action?

While there's no right way to react when disaster hits, we look to those who are moved to do the latter to give us inspiration and hope during tough times.

Analisa Salas and her husband Augie aren't first responders, but when they heard of the devastation Hurricane Laura caused in Louisiana last week, they wanted to do something to help.

Analisa Salas and her husband Augie drove from their home in Houston, TX to Sulphur, LA to help those affected by the storm. Analisa Salas/Facebook

Salas posted to a Facebook group to find out what folks in the hard-hit areas needed most. She said the response to her message was "extremely heartbreaking."

"I posted to a group and I just can't believe the pleas for food & how people are so happy and grateful we are coming," Salas wrote in a post on her Facebook page. "I have deputies, first responders reaching out to me for a hot meal they been living on canned foods and have lost everything. 😪😪😪"

Using their own money, and some donations, the couple packed up their car with supplies and headed to Sulphur to feed those in need. Analisa Salas/Facebook

The couple bought over $700 in supplies, packed up their barbecue grill and drove from their hometown of Houston, TX to Sulphur, LA – a small town about 10 miles west of Lake Charles – to cook and serve meals to whoever needed them.

The couple arrived in Sulphur on Sunday morning and fired up their grill in the parking lot of a gas station near the main interstate. In a matter of minutes, a line formed of people who had lost everything in the storm and were grateful to have their first hot meal in days.

"It's heartbreaking when a little boy tells you he hasn't ate in 2 days and asks for 2 hotdogs," Salas wrote in a social media post. "These people have lost everything, the devastation is unbearable to look at."

Hurricane Laura knocked out most of the water service in Lake Charles, LA and surrounding areas. Canaan Johnson/Facebook

After feeding over 700 people, the couple drove back to Houston to load up on more supplies. The following day, they were back behind the grill in Sulphur – this time serving over 1,500 meals to their new friends who likely won't have power or running water in their homes for weeks.

Even under such challenging circumstances, the sight of people of all ages, races and backgrounds coming together to lift each other up gave people a much-needed boost.

The Salases set up shop in a gas station parking lot and started cooking meals for anyone who needed them. Analisa Salas/Facebook

"I saw people of all races coming together to help each other. I saw people of all races grateful to be receiving a hot meal no matter what race served or cooked the food," Canaan Johnson, a volunteer who helped the couple with their relief efforts, commented on social media.

"I saw quite the opposite of what we see on the media today and while it made my heart extremely happy to see that, it made me sad that we don't see it more often," she added. "Today, I saw UNITY!"

Volunteers and local law enforcement stepped up to help the couple with their relief efforts. Analisa Salas/Facebook

While Analisa and Augie weren't the only ones passing out free meals after the storm, the fact that they crossed state lines and used their own money to help people they never met is a striking reminder that we can all make a difference if we try.

We're sure the community will never forget their kindness!

How can you start something good?

You can help victims of Hurricane Laura by donating to America Cares or the Red Cross. To help on a local level, you can consider making a contribution to the Cajun Navy Relief.

Let's #StartSomethingGood together!

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