Dear Tom,

On august 29th of this year hurricane Isaac destroyed the home that I shared with my three children, my elderly father and mother and my sister and her two children in Laplace, Louisiana. We had to be rescued by boat. My seventeen year-old son became a local hero when he jumped into the high waters to save our neighbors and put them into the boat.   

We now have to start our lives all over again and it has not been easy.  we are living in a hotel in baton rouge where the children are frustrated, because they can’t make any noise, and there is no place for them to play outside.They are still traumatized by the events of that day and everything that has happened since. My sister’s one year-old won’t go into a car seat, because the motion reminds him of the boat and the water that scared him to tears and my two daughters, who are nine and ten, are emotional wrecks.  One of them broke down in hysterics, because she dropped a plate of food and thought she would have to go hungry. My father who didn’t have a gray hair on his head is now totally gray and my son, who is a senior in high school mourns over the loss of his laptop that he used to get straight a’s in his classes.

Tom, I have been in a battle to navigate the complex Fema system since the hurricane happened.  we have been turned down for every ounce of help we need.  Jobs are still scarce and i have to figure out how to keep a roof over our heads, get clothes, feed the family and replace all the things we lost to the flood. It has been an absolute nightmare that refuses to go away. I have reached out to other non-profit agencies, but the clock is ticking and i am worried that help won’t come soon enough.  Right now, it’s all about the children and making them feel as if someone other than our family cares about them.   it is my Christmas wish to replace my eldest boy’s computer, get all five children clothes for school and nutritious food to feed them. My Christmas wish is all about giving them hope for the future. Please help me.

Thank you for listening,

     Dawnita Michael



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