A River of Hope responds to Hurricane Gustav


groupPlaquemines Parish, Louisiana was hit hard by Hurricane Gustav on September 1, 2008.  The people of that region were out of power for several weeks and had limited access to supplies. The roads where flooded limiting who could come in and out of the area.  Almost three years after the River of Hope’s first relief trip, a team of twelve volunteers returned to New Orleans, over the weekend of September 19th through the 21st, to respond to this disaster

The River of Hope volunteers drove three vans through the six to nine inches of water on the flooded roads and made their way to St. Patrick’s Catholic Church within the parish.  The group brought a van full of supplies which included; diapers, formula, water, food, personal needs items and bleach.  They also brought our mental health information to be passed out to people in need.

01Another reason for this trip to the region was to conduct a Mental Health
resource fair, in the upper Ninth Ward of New Orleans, during which the River of Hope volunteers passed out information on
resiliency.  People where invited for refreshments and fun.  The volunteers supplied information and support to many people in the neighborhood who continue to experience stress and trauma.  They spent time with several children who were able to have their faces painted, receive a stuffed animal, and color pictures that talked about hurricanes, flood preparedness and family safety plans.  The volunteers also hosted a yard sale near New Salem Baptist church.  They sold items that the church had
remaining from past clean up efforts.  The yard sale was a huge success and served the community by raising funds for the church and allowing others access to needed supplies and equipment at a reasonable price.

A River of Hope was the founding project which resulted in the
creation of Headwaters Relief Organization,
which continues to respond to disasters and to serve people in need wherever they may be, including Iowa, Minnesota and the Twin Cities area, as well as Louisiana.

Donations to the Headwaters Relief Organization can be made payable to the Headwaters Relief Organization Fund, and all donors will receive a charitable tax deduction receipt in the mail.  In order to donate, please contact Cheryl Vennerstrom, at 763-450-5007, or e-mail her at

All tax deductible donations to the Headwaters project should be made
to the:

Headwaters Relief Organization Fund

9400 Golden Valley Road

Golden Valley, Minnesota  56427

“A River of Hope” Project

Jennifer Abrahamsen, Leota Bemis, Alicia Corbett, Emily Ford, Marya Hage, Kathleen Holtz, Pastor Warren Jones, Natasha Moss, Kari Reinhart, Luke Thomley, Alexander Thomley, Rebecca Thomley, Cheryl Vennerstrom.