It’s hard to hear that your colleagues in another state have lost just about everything, which is why the generous employees at the Colorado Secretary of State collected $655 for their brethren at the Louisiana Secretary of State’s Office.
Flooding destroyed the homes and everything in them — important papers, furniture and even cars — of more than one-third of the approximately 400 SOS employees who work out of the Baton Rouge offices.
“With a hurricane you get a warning to evacuate but in this case people woke up and water was pouring into their homes,” said Meg Casper, spokeswoman for the Louisiana Secretary of State’s office.
About 60 percent of the staff initially was trapped in their homes and neighborhoods because of the flooding, and some had to be rescued. The constant rainfall that began Aug. 12 deluged parishes where there had never been flooding before. Two families who lost everything are living with Casper, whose home was not flooded.
“We are honored to assist our colleagues in Louisiana,” Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams said. “I am impressed by their dedication and the generosity of our employees in Colorado.”
The National Association of Secretaries of State on Aug. 19 sent an e-mail to its members, saying it was shipping “the basics,” cleaning supplies, dry foods, paper plates and such, to the Louisiana SOS office,
“If you can do anything as an office or individually it would be so appreciated,” wrote Leslie Reynolds, the executive director of NASS.
“The impact will be felt for months to come. These employees are committed to continuing their vital role in administering elections, preserving Louisiana’s precious archives and records, and providing businesses in the state with excellent services, among their many other responsibilities.”
With the basics already there, Colorado asked Louisiana what was the next step. The Employee Relations Committee at the Colorado Secretary of State’s office asked staffers to open their hearts and their wallets, and the ERC sent Louisiana SOS eight $50 gift cards to Home Depot, eight $25 cards to Walmart and $55 in cash.
The package is expected to arrive Monday
“This will go so far,” Casper said. “There aren’t enough words to thank you all.”
The Employee Relations Committee the previous week served lunch to SOS staffers at an event featuring Colorado Special Olympics. In all, the Colorado Secretary of State’s office donated $377 to the Special Olympics.