Coalition creates recovery fund

By: Paul Kedinger

The Rayne Long-Term Recovery Coalition, composed of church and community volunteer organizations, Tuesday morning approved the creation of a recovery fund to contain donations to aid victims of the March 5 tornado.

The account to be set up at Rayne State Bank will be dedicated to assisting the unmet needs of residents in the storm-damaged area.

The account will be established by United Way of Acadiana, according to Coalition Chairwoman Angela Morrison.

The funds will not be distributed directly to residents, but will be used to pay for supplies and labor needed to restore family homes in the northwest sector of Rayne.

The coalition will review applications made to an Unmet Needs Committee before releasing any funds.

The first formal donation to the newly established fund was announced by Cheryl Richard, a coalition member-at-large, who presented a $1,500 donation from the National Retirees group of the Family Campers & RVers, which has held three RV rallies in Rayne.

Richard also added that a cash donation was forwarded to her from a contributor in a foreign country.

Any person or organization wishing to make a donation, can contact Chairwoman Morrison at 337-706-1201 or email her at angela.morrison@unitedwayof

Rhonda Trahan, the recently appointed case manager, reported she has completed 13 in-depth applications for assistance from affected families.

Of those completed applications, one person lost his vehicle in the storm, five were senior citizens, eight needed roofs repaired, and five applicants needed assistance to level their homes.

Trahan reported two applicants lost their homes, three of the 13 had lived in trailers and only five of the 13 applicants had property insurance.

Residents in need of assistance must complete in-depth applications with Trahan, who can be contacted by calling 337-577-8042 or email to, Monday through Thursday.

Trahan is currently located in the Bernard -Bertrand House on The Boulevard.

Calls placed to 232-HELP/LA211 will be referred to Trahan, indicated Leigh Peterson.

Pastor Gene Lee of First Baptist Church of Rayne reported he is in contact with a Mennonite disaster relief team whose members will provide volunteer services when notified by the Coalition.

Richard reported Mayor Jim Petitjean has offered free hookups in the city’s RV park for volunteers arriving in motor homes.

Centenary United Methodist Church has also offered shelter to Methodist volunteers who have also offered their help.

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