Stories of Hope

Each and every day Southern Mutual Help Association, and its network of partners and volunteers, strives to make a difference in the lives of those living in rural Louisiana. As work continues in these communities, the organization’s staff often comes across inspiring stories of hope, resiliency, self-empowerment and recovery to share with the world. Here are just a few stories of hope from those impacted by SMHA’s efforts.

Can-Do, Self-Help Spirit Keeps Fisher Family GoingA Holly Beach fisher family lost their home during Hurricane Rita, but they didn't lose their "can-do, self-help" spirit. They are now rebuilding with the help of friends and Southern Mutual Help Association.
From Chalmette to Bozeman, Montana After the hurricanes demolished their home and business in St. Bernard Parish last year, a Chalmette family traveled from one end of the Louisiana Purchase to the other and opened a bakery in Bozeman, Montana.
Mayor Tim of Jean Lafitte Mayor Tim Kerner of the small community of Jean Lafitte in lower Jefferson Parish is an example of what the best in a public servant looks like. Tim Kerner's daddy was also the mayor of Jean Lafitte, so you might assume they have a dynasty. But it's not a dynasty of power. It is a dynasty of public service providing leadership in a community characterized by a spirit of self help and generosity.
Rebuilding — One Small Business At a Time When Lorna Bourg asked Mayor Tim Kerner of Jean Lafitte, "... If there were three businesses that we could help restore, what would they be?" He said, "They wouldn't be in my town. They would be one mile south of here in Lafitte. If we could get those three restaurants up and running, they would hire people from my town. We could have food in our area. We could have tourists coming back, and the shrimp boats would have a place to sell their shrimp."
The Burkhart Family
 Military veteran Shawn and his wife Ashley thought owning their own home would be    impossible. Thanks to their incredible determination, their family of eight now owns a home
 of their own.
Three Generations of Delcambre Family Hit by Rita The Delcambre ship-building Pitres' property hadn't flooded in a hundred years. But when Hurricane Rita slammed into the Gulf coast last fall that changed. Waters surged over the area, flattening the towns closest to the coast and carrying water and mud 15 miles inland and flooding nearly everything in its path.



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