Local Effort Underway to Bring Christmas to 1,000 Victims of Ida

Posted on December 7, 2021 by Staff reports

Hurricane Ida delivered days of misery and destruction, making landfall in Louisiana on the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.  It is the second strongest storm to ever hit Louisiana.  People lost power and water along with their homes, cars and belongings. 

Each time a storm makes its way into the Gulf of Mexico, we all have the same feelings, being torn between not wanting it to come here to feeling guilty about wanting it to go somewhere else.

When it does go somewhere else we watch in horror at the destruction knowing it could have been us.

When Hurricane Micheal hit Panama City and the surrounding areas in 2018, Mark and Stacie Hoard of DeFrance Antiques in Fort Walton Beach along with their customers, friends, family and church family at Cinco Baptist Church felt compelled to help. 

Cinco Baptist took their mobile laundry trailer to Panama City for several weeks.  The Hoards organized fundraisers, supply drives and groups of volunteers and went to Panama City for 18 months.  During that time they helped to organize a Christmas meal and toy drive December of 2018.

In September of 2021 after Hurricane Ida, Pastor Mickey Hawkins of Cinco Baptist Church took a group of volunteers and their mobile laundry trailer to Louisiana.

They ended up at a Rouse Grocery Store in Houma, Louisiana.  They were set up there for five days grilling food and washing laundry for the people in the community. 

After returning, the Hoards spoke with their Pastor Mickey Hawkins and said they wanted to help bring Christmas to Houma. 

Pastor Mickey, who is a Louisiana native, was all in. But they all knew they could not do it alone.  The goal is to feed 1,000 people and take as many presents as they can, hopefully 1,000, with them when they go.

Church member, Ed Klink jumped on board helping to calculate what is needed to feed 1,000 people and will help with the cooking.

Plans are underway for volunteers to leave Fort Walton Beach early morning on December 14th, serve the meal that night, pass out presents and drive home on December 15th.

Support is requested in the form of prayers, contributions or volunteering.

The church is accepting “Christmas in Houma” monetary donations and new wrapped presents for children (please label if it’s a boy or girl gift and provide an age range).

New wrapped or unwrapped gifts or monetary contributions for “Christmas in Houma” may also be dropped off at DeFrance Antiques in Fort Walton Beach.

Those who want to go along and help can contact Pastor Mickey Hawkins at Cinco Baptist Church 850-243-7656.