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Connecticut couple collecting donations for flood victims in Baton Rouge

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MANCHESTER – As Louisiana continues to deal with the devastation of historic levels of flooding, Connecticut residents are reaching out to help.

More than a dozen people have died and an estimated 60-thousand homes have been damaged after floods swept through the southern part of the state last weekend.

About four thousand people also remain in shelters.

The Red Cross is calling it the largest natural disaster since Superstorm Sandy.

Kristine and John Lajeunesse, owners of Always Best Senior Care Services of Central CT which provides non-medical in-home care for seniors, have been in contact with the company’s location in Baton Rouge.

“Right now the people of Baton Rouge are feeling a little bit helpless because maybe of the lack of response, that’s the feedback that I`m getting from Shonda,” Kristine said.

Shonda Boudet is Kristine’s friend that runs the Baton Rouge location which she is currently using as a shelter for families impacted by the flood.

“She's had a lot of families coming in with small children and it breaks her heart to see that they don`t even have the simplest of things like shoes on because they left with no shoes or anything else,” Lajeunesse said.

A large majority of the 150 caregivers at Always Best Senior Care in Baton Rouge lost their homes in the flood.  Some of the clients are still unaccounted for, according to Lajeunesse.

“The majority of her clients we’re unreachable because of the flood waters, where they could not find out had they been evacuated,” she said.

Lajeunesse said the best way to send assistance without traveling to Louisiana is through collecting donations which is why Always Best, located in Manchester, is getting involved.

The couple is calling on Connecticut to help collect donations to send over to the Louisiana location. Several boxes have already been sent.

“They’re gonna need everything I mean things we take for granted every day,” she said. “The most important thing is just to think beyond yourself because for any of us your life or how things are working in your life can change instantaneously.”

Donation items needed at the shelter at Always Best Senior Care in Baton Rouge includes:

  • Toiletries
  • Walmart Gift Cards
  • Mastercard and Visa Gift Cards
  • Girls pants and shirts and pajamas sizes 16/18
  • Girls underwear size 14
  • Girls shoes size 11
  • Boys shirts, pants and pajamas sizes 12-18 month, 2T, 3T, 6, 10/12 and 14/16, 36/30
  • Boys underwear size 2T/3T and Large
  • Boys 12-18-month-old clothes
  • Boys shoes size 4, 5.5 and 6

You can drop off the donations at Always Best Senior Care Services of Central Connecticut: 135 Center Street Manchester, CT 06040. M-F 8:30 am - 4 pm.

You can also send them directly to Baton Rouge: 619 Jefferson HWY Suite 1D, Baton Rouge, LA 70806.

The donations are ongoing.