SSM Health employee pitches in to help Louisiana flood victims- Dean - WI

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Published on October 28, 2016

Employee pitches in to help Louisiana flood victims

Six days isn't a long time, but it was enough to change Scott Longley’s life.

The SSM Health Process Improvement Senior Facilitator was recently part of a group of volunteers that traveled to Baton Rouge, La., to help victims of massive flooding. Characterized as the worst U.S. natural disaster since Hurricane Sandy in 2012, floods have damaged thousands of homes and businesses in Southcentral Louisiana. And, two months later, the cleanup continues.

Through his church in Madison, Scott partnered with Samaritan’s Purse, an organization that dispatches equipment and volunteers to provide emergency aid to victims of natural disasters in the U.S. and overseas. He traveled to Louisiana with his friend Brad Wegner, who had previously volunteered with Samaritan’s Purse to help people affected by Hurricane Katrina.

Scott worked with team members to salvage personal belongings from homes, as well as rip out mold-covered drywall, flooring and cabinets. “Being surrounded by a group of individuals with the same common goal of serving and helping a community in tremendous need was one of the greatest experiences of my adult life,” he says. “It filled me with purpose and gave me a greater appreciation for what I have here in Wisconsin. It was life changing.”

Volunteers came from New York, New Jersey, Montana, North and South Carolina, Texas and California, as well as from Argentina and Nigeria.  Scott’s team lead was a retired Navy veteran who, along with his wife, now travels across the country in an RV to help at disaster sites.

“It was quite amazing talking and meeting with these volunteers who give up so much of their time and share their talents to serve individuals they don’t even know,” Scott says.

He recommends more people consider volunteering their time for disaster relief. “What’s shown on television isn’t anything compared to seeing and experiencing it in person,” he says. “As part of the SSM family, it’s our mission to serve those in our local communities and beyond.”Scott Longley, left, poses with other Samaritan's Purse volunteers.

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