LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Thousands in Louisiana are spending their days picking up the pieces of what Hurricane Laura left behind.
A group of volunteers, here in central Arkansas, are getting ready to travel south to lend a helping hand.
A non-profit that exists to engage, assist, and empower, is deploying their disaster response team to help those who have lost it all.
"We're there to help people get back into their homes safely when they return to the area," Timothy McCann, Outdoor Adventure Coordinator with Sheep Dog Impact Assistance of Central Arkansas, said.
Sheep Dog Impact Assistance of Central Arkansas is sending six volunteers, according to McCann, to join a group of 43 in DeRidder, Louisiana.
"DeRidder's going to be our base camp for the week. We'll be there from Monday to Friday. Then, we'll deploy in three separate teams from there and go do our mission," he said.
A mission, that McCann said, is to help sort through the rubble and debris that Hurricane Laura left them with.
"By doing that and going down and clearing people's homes and houses and seeing the thank you's. It's just one of the most rewarding things ever to get," he said.
This gift, that according to McCann, comes with some baggage.
"The hardest thing is realizing you can't help everybody," he said.
But the team, made up of Sheep Dog volunteers from five different states, will try to get to as many people as they can.
McCann said they'll work from sun up to sun down, focused on tree removal.
"Tree removal from people's driveways, so they can get to their homes. If there's a tree on their home, then we'll remove the tree and the limbs off their home," he said.
This isn't the group's first rodeo, but with a national pandemic involved, McCann said lending a helping hand looks a little different.
"I'm actually going to be the one speaking to the homeowners as we go through, so obviously, wear a mask and social distance and give them their personal space," he said.
With their disaster response mission trailer packed full of equipment, McCann said these Sheep Dogs are prepared to head south and take care of their flock and one another.
"It's obviously important because the homeowner can come home and have somewhere safe and clear to go to, but more importantly, it's us, the volunteers," he said.
The crew heads south Sunday morning, Aug. 30, and will be back home on Friday night, Sep. 4.
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