Flood relief efforts continue

By Scott Trezise

Record-setting rainfall and floods are bringing the northeastern Louisiana community and CenturyLink even closer together. Many people in our community have severe damage to their homes and have lost most of their belongings as well as their vehicles. Some haven’t been able to return to their homes to assess damages because of continued flooding and safety concerns.  

The stories I've heard about neighbors helping neighbors and strangers working together piling sandbags to save homes continue to impress me. For example, an employee of ours was helping protect a house from the water when he noticed a small, elderly lady that was trying to stuff her own sandbags. He noticed that the lady was putting only a small amount of sand in the bag because if she stuffed it any more it was too heavy for her to lift. After noticing her struggles, our employee led a group of volunteers to finish stuffing her sandbags to full capacity and loaded the bags into her vehicle. Then, they followed her back and laid all the bags around her house -- saving her from sure flooding. Since then, our employee has been back multiple times to ensure she remains dry.

At CenturyLink we’re so thankful for the donations, volunteers and support we’ve received from the community and our employees. Additionally, we’re supporting our impacted employees and our community by filling urgent needs, creating a CenturyLink Donation Station and volunteering in our community.

CenturyLink Donation Station

Employees set up a donation station in our headquarters to meet the needs of other employees impacted by the floods. We’re collecting and distributing cleaning supplies (bleach, sponges, utility buckets and large garbage bags), toiletries, socks, clean/gently used clothing for children and adults and snacks or easily consumable non-perishable items. Donations are coming and going this week as our employees help each other. Any items not claimed will be donated to local shelters.

In our donation station, we have a bulletin board where employees who need larger items, like furniture and appliances, can leave requests. Another board lets employees list large items that they want to donate.  So far we’ve helped match two couches, a bedroom suite and several tables with new owners who’ve lost their furniture.

Giving Back

CenturyLink employees are filling sandbags, preparing meals, cleaning out homes and staffing phones for the Red Cross telethon for northeastern Louisiana flood relief. The Company also matched the first $10,000 donated in the telethon.

In addition to the Red Cross, many other groups are doing great work to help our community recover. In support of those efforts, we will donate $5,000 to the Food Bank of Northeast Louisiana to provide food and water to impacted residents and $50,000 to the United Way of Northeast Louisiana’s Flood Relief Fund to help fund their long-term relief efforts.

If you’re looking for a way to support our community, these are great options.

CenturyLink is committed to strengthening the areas where we live and work. Our employees have worked together many times before to support communities in need. I am proud to see that their willingness to lend a helping hand and serve others is still as strong as ever.

Again, thank you to our employees in other areas, business partners and customers for their many offers of support. 

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