10-year-old Tesa steps up to help The Salvation Army and her community in wake of Hurricane Ida
By: Philip Burn
Tesa heard that The Salvation Army needed help passing out meals in her community near Gonzales, La. in the wake of Hurricane Ida. With no hesitation, she jumped in the car with a neighbor and headed out to volunteer. Tesa is only 10 years old and is in the fifth grade.
It’s been a rough couple of years for Tesa and her family. During Hurricane Zeta in October 2020, their home was hit by a tornado and her bedroom was destroyed.
“Due to the Covid pandemic and construction delays, it was really difficult to schedule repairs to our house,” said Theresa Delatte, Tesa’s mom. “She finally got to move back into her bedroom in July this year only now to be hit by Hurricane Ida. The storm damaged our new metal roof, and the rain poured into Tesa’s room. Her ceiling fell in, and her belongings are ruined.”
Even with all that is going on in her life, and the heartache of losing her room for a second time, Tesa was out working in the neighborhood right after the storm passed.
“She’s been busy helping clean up by picking up shingles, trash, tree branches and doing all she can to help anyone in need,” said Theresa. “We’re so proud of her.”
The mobile feeding unit from Muskogee, Okla., was in Cut Off, La. and set up at the local Walgreens.
“Tesa and Theresa volunteered with us for two days, serving hot food to her neighbors and community, many of whom remain without power,” said Wayde Normandin, volunteer and disaster resource manager from Tulsa, and EDS team member in Gonzales. “Tesa is an incredible young lady. She worked non-stop in the heat and was excited to pass out meals to the cars as they came through the drive-through line. She can be a part of our crew anytime!”
As of Sept. 9, The Salvation Army’s trained emergency response teams have already provided has provided 233,294 meals, 141,053 drinks and 57,128 snacks in the state of Louisiana. In addition, volunteers and workers have engaged in nearly 14,000 hours of service and made more than 10,000 emotional and spiritual care contacts.
“Tesa made the comment last night, when she gets older, she wants to be someone like y’all that helps people in bad times. Even if she just makes one person’s day better it will be worth it,” said Theresa. “Gotta love the big heart my little girl has!”