Ruston, LA

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Lagniappe Hugs
153 Reagan Lane
Ruston, Louisiana

Joni Mabry


“Lagniappe” is a Creole word meaning “a little extra”. This Chapter did indeed have a little extra hugs for the children of hurricane Gustav. Joni and friends in the newly named chapter took bears, a few of which remained from their work with Katrina, to several shelters in the town of Ruston which is a few miles from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. As the winds grew more intense and the rains began to fall…not minutes from the onset of Gustav, Joni and her 14 year old son raced over to the Trinity Church, Emmanuel Baptist Church and the Civic Center in Ruston, all of which had been designated as shelters for the over 2 million people heading North from the evacuation of New Orleans. Seven boxes of bears were immediately readied as children gathered from the storm.

Joni plans to take her effort to the local school systems to prepare for the next natural emergency.

Thanks to Joni and all the volunteer efforts of this chapter as their “teddies at the ready” are welcomed!