We all have come to know the distinct hashtag #CajunNavy. They were the brave men going to great lengths and measures, putting their own lives at risk, to rescue the thousands of people trapped in their homes last week. We thank and applaud them and will continue to do so. We’ve also see another appropriate hashtag pop up recently (#CajunArmy) highlighting all the boots on the ground, helping strangers and families gut their homes and not thinking twice about it. What we haven’t seen much of are the women staying behind the scene washing clothes and dishes, connecting people across parish lines, or taking in people’s children so those affected can work on their houses. So we wanted to take a second and recognize some of these women, women we like to call #CajunRosies.
Former RSMB contributor Beth Hembree coined this term last week in a Facebook post that has been shared by hundreds:
While the #CajunNavy is hard at work, I would also like to take a moment to recognize the #CajunRosies! What’s that, you ask? Well, while our men are out on the front lines in boats, gutting houses, pulling up floors, and hauling debris to the road, or even just stuck back at work when they’d rather be helping, there is a network of thousands of women hustling in the background washing the flood water laundry, scrubbing muddy dishes, loving on babies and kids whose parents are out dealing with the disaster at their homes, delivering supplies and donations, assembling sack lunches to deliver to the victims, volunteering at shelters, nursing homes, and schools, and doing all this and more with their own kids in tow while the schools are closed! You are seen and appreciated, you modern-day, stay-at-home, Cajun Rosie the Riveters!!
So in honor of our little modern-day #CajunRosies, we wanted to highlight 10 of the specific ways we’ve seen you take action.
Some of you never knew that you could make so many PB&Js while holding a child on your hip. There have been thousands of lunches made for those people working on getting houses gutted, cleaned up, and furniture moved out. A lot of businesses in the affected areas were closed or lines were long, so by helping these people stay on task with a quick meal delivered to them, you kept things going. THANK YOU!
The Demo Darling
Many of you women were able to make it out to the houses affected, and while some of you were moving furniture and cutting out sheetrock, others were using your iPhones to take pictures of all the water-soaked pictures, Mother’s Day cards, and general memories that will never be quite the same. The families will be forever grateful for your presence, muscle, encouragement, and shoulder to cry on. THANK YOU!
The Kid Keeper
Every set of hands matters and you opened your homes and churches to watch the children of those affected by the flood, so parents could get into their homes and work. Some of this meant volunteering at camps, going to friends’ houses and entertaining kids for hours on end, or letting kids join your circus for the day. You had your hands full and were happy to do it. THANK YOU!
The Casserole/Crockpot Cooker
People have lost everything. And are just getting settled in their rent homes, trailers, campers, etc. The reality is hitting many and you are stepping up and making sure that dinner is not something they will have to stress about. You are doubling your recipes every meal and bringing one to a friend. You are hosting crockpot parties to make a number of crockpot-ready meals to give to many. You are taking care of one of the most basic human needs. THANK YOU!
The Supply Scout/Donation Collector
Homeowners cannot get to the store easily and you have taken it upon yourself to make Amazon wish lists, manage supplies, and then deliver to the affected neighborhoods. You have driven to strangers’ houses, asking what they need, and then showing up the next day with exactly that. You have a mini warehouse of cleaning products, bins, food, diapers, wipes, formula, detergent, toiletries, blankets, etc. and you are distributing them in the best way possible. THANK YOU!
The second a shelter opened, you were there. You organized toys, you passed out food, you handed out linens and helped make cots, you entertained children, and the list goes on. You used your God-given skills to benefit your community. Whether you are a nurse, doctor, mom, student, teacher, you gave your time–and lots of it. THANK YOU!
The Errands Runner
You have wracked up HUNDREDS of miles on your car going to and from places, delivering supplies, dropping off meals, picking up supplies, picking up laundry, etc. Many of you with kids even let your littles nap in the car for the last week because you were too busy being the wheels for those who needed it most. THANK YOU!
The Laundry Angel/Laundry Army/Washing Angel
There are so many names I’ve seen describing these launderers of hope. I’ve witnessed so many women in my newsfeed alone taking in bags and bags full of floodwater-soaked laundry, washing, folding, and returning them to their owners in record time. We have people leading TEAMS of women who are armed with Pine-sol, Oxiclean, vinegar, detergent, and dyer sheets ready to go. THANK YOU!
The Social Media Maven
Never have people seen Facebook used the way in which it was this last week. Women were directing the Cajun Navy to specific houses where help was needed, offering their homes as shelter, letting people know their washing machines were open, directing people where supplies were available or what roads were open–basically communicating and connecting people across multiple parishes all from the palm of your hand. THANK YOU!
So many cars were lost in the flood and you showed up to give rides to those who needed to get to their houses or volunteer. And I know some of you even handed over your keys entirely! You had your phone on you at all times, ready to drop everything and be where you were needed in a moment’s notice. Uber has nothing on you. THANK YOU!
This was just a fun little list of the ways we see our women working tirelessly for this community. We know that there are so many other titles to add to this list. But whatever your role, know that what you are doing MATTERS. And if you would like to jump into any areas mentioned above, just let us know and we can put you in contact with someone who can get you on a list of volunteers.