In August 2021, Hurricane Ida left southern areas of Louisiana and other regions of the country ravaged. Soon after, the Project Good team sought to bring good moments to a group of survivors and were humbled by the stories we received. In times of devastation, these survivors have come together to uplift and uphold each other as a community. We were happy to send each member of this community a Solo Stove Fire Pit in hopes of lifting their spirits. Read about these survivors below:
Nominated by Jody Detillier
Ben Ory is a dentist from Destrehan, LA. He’s a fire lover who used to have a custom fire pit of his own that collapsed from high heat after a few years. Ben’s home and neighborhood, and his two dental offices, were left destroyed by the hurricane. In the weeks following the devastation, Ben recruited and organized a team of missionary students to help numerous families gut and clean up their own homes, putting the needs of others who were affected above his own. A fire pit may not have much to do with a dental office, but in a time of crisis, good moments can be shared around a fire all the same.
Nominated by Katrina Bell
When Jay was left without water and power for weeks, he was still up every day helping neighbors clear debris, make food, and going on water and gas runs. Jay is described as never having met a stranger and the one who consistently goes out of his way to include everyone in activities. We hope that this continues to be the case and that a fire pit will help Jay bring a jarred community together in a time of reflection.
Nominated by Amy Hill
Kathy stayed in danger’s way during Hurricane Ida to make sure her elderly friend was taken care of when they had nowhere else to go. Even as the storm prevailed and Kathy’s home suffered damages, she would not leave her friend to seek safer accommodations. This sense of community is what inspires us to help create good moments in times of strife.
Nominated by Ed Meaux
At 80 years old, and even with Parkinson’s, Clayton stands as a pillar in his “family of friends”, regularly cooking for his small neighborhood in Dulac, LA. Clayton’s family’s home was totaled in the midst of the hurricane, and he is looking forward to rebuilding. We hope a fire pit will be a welcome addition to the reconstruction of the community.
Nominated by Ryan Cavanaugh
On the day her home was hit by a tornado caused by Hurricane Ida, Shannon learned she had survived the breast cancer she was diagnosed with a year prior. She is described as a beacon of hope for her husband and two daughters, as they have been displaced from their home. We hope that Shannon and her family have an opportunity to find peace around their fire pit as soon as possible.
Nominated by Robert Carnesi
Jan has been a “trooper” in the aftermath of the hurricane. Without power or water, she and her husband have been tirelessly removing damaged sheetrock and insulation from their walls, cleaning up water coming into their home through the walls and ceilings, and looking for ways to rebuild their home. We can’t wait for their fire pit to get to them, so they can have a place to find tranquility after a day of hard work.
Nominated by Dane Howard
Dominique’s home was flooded and destroyed during Hurricane Ida. She and her son evacuated to California, leaving their home and any belongings behind. Her son’s beloved stuffed animal was swept away in the flooding, so we happily included a new version of “fluffy” to keep him company in addition to the fire pit. We wish Dominique and her son rest in the near future, and hope that a fire pit might contribute to it.
Nominated by Erica Crawford
Courtney and her family are known for taking in others and treating them like they’ve always belonged. While the storm raged above, Courtney and her family found themselves in their home, unsure if their home could sustain enough damage to keep them safe inside. After waiting out the storm and being on the receiving end of some structural damage, the family evacuated to Alabama. Now that they have been able to safely return home, we see a lot of nights around the fire in their future.
For Gabby, evacuating during Hurricane Ida was not an option. She works as a nurse and needed to tend to patients during the storm. After four days, the hospital had no power or water, and staff and patients were evacuated via helicopter. Upon finally arriving home, where she and her cousin reside, Gabby learned she’d need to repair her roof, siding, fencing, and carport which were all damaged due to high winds. She says that she’s “never seen a sad face when a plate of hot food is around”. We can’t agree more Gabby. Send us pictures of all the food your fire pit helps you make!