The Louvis Family and Wayne VOAD

Neighbors need our help

Hi Everyone, Please read this email I recieved from a friend of the Louvis family. I forwarded this email to Wayne VOAD and Pastor Karyn replied below. Please read all the way to the bottom so you can read about the Louvis family. Thank you

Dear Residents of Wayne,

At this holiday time of year, Wayne VOAD is beginning to hear about many families who continue to be in crisis in the wake of Hurricane Irene. The information below sent by friends of the Louvis family is just one example of our neighbors-in-need. Wayne VOAD is in the process of assisting many families in the community in small ways. For example, today we will be distributing approximately $5,000 in Toys-R-Us and ShopRite gift cards to families-in-need as identified by the school nurses. We have also arranged for several families to receive a Christmas tree, compliments of Strawberry Blossom Garden Center. These are small ways in which we have been able to help our neighbors, but there is clearly a need for a much greater response.

I would therefore like to appeal to the community to help Wayne VOAD come to the aid of our neighbors. You can do this in 2 different ways:

1) Please bring to our attention any family that is in need. We need a specific suggestion for how that family can best be helped, and we need volunteers to help deliver that assistance.

2) Please make a financial contribution payable to "Wayne VOAD" and mailed to Wayne VOAD, 189 Berdan Avenue, Box 275, Wayne, NJ 07470. All donations will be used to help Wayne residents. If you would like to assist the Louvis family, please indicate that on the check or in an attached note. You can also contact us directly at WayneVOAD@gmail.com.

The Wayne community has been so incredibly generous in recent months. As I prepare to lead my congregation in Christmas Eve services this week, I can't help but think that our collective response to the humanitarian needs left behind by Hurricane Irene is what Christmas is all about. Whatever holiday you may be celebrating this year, please consider helping your neighbors-in-need as a part of your family's festivities. The blessing you receive in return will be greater than any gift you could ever unwrap.

Rev Karyn Ratcliffe Chair, Wayne VOAD


Hello Ruby,

I saw your posts about the Voit kids (and so many other great things you do in Wayne) and so I am writing to you to see if you would help get word out about a mutual Wayne family in great need.

Like most people who don't live in Wayne, you'd probably think that the flood victims of Hurricane Irene have all been taken care of, are back in their homes safe and sound, all the damage repaired, lucky recipients of federal disaster money and local donations.You'd be surprised to learn that this Christmas, many families are still recovering from this devastating natural disaster, that some are still homeless, and that few have received substantial help. Families like the Louvis family of Wayne.

The Louvis family lost everything in Hurricane Irene: Their home, all their belongings, the clothes in their closets, everything in the garage and the basement, even the kids' toys. When the Army Corp of Engineers released the levies to ease flooding in Bergen County, it created a massive deluge downstream in Wayne; Route 23 where the Louvis' life went under water. It only took minutes for George and Loyla Louvis to go from having a few inches of water in their basement to the entire first floor completely submerged, and George and Loyla had to be rescued by police boat.

Four months later, George, Loyla and their kids ,Elizabeth, 11; Ben 13; and Jonathan, 15, are still homeless. Insurance money won't cover the entire cost of rebuilding, and it won't pay to replace their belongings. FEMA only gave them $1,600 to replace everything. That's right: All their clothes, their furniture, the kids' books, toys, sports equipment; their tools, appliances, carpeting — everything that makes a house a home.

Aside from the National Association of Realtors, there is little if any long term recovery support out there. (Most agencies offer food, clothing and counseling but that's it.) The Louvis home does not qualify for the FEMA buyout like a lot of other homes near the Passaic River. Despite the millions raised for Hurricane Relief, very little of it has gone to actually help the victims.

My sister Diana Jeffrey is trying very hard to motivate people to give this Christmas so that the Louvis' can finally get back in their house and live a normal life. Maybe even have a Christmas for the kids. She started a "Chip-In" page and has this to say....

Here's a picture of my friend Loyla and her family. Loyla Gross was my best friend growing up; we had sleep overs every Friday night and watched the Donny and Marie Osmond show while eating Twizzlers and Nestle Crunch bars. Later, after the adults went to bed, snuck out and watched The Exorcist on HBO. We shared Judy Blume books and played Kick the Can and took the bus down the shore for the day. We both went to Anthony Wayne Jr. High (when it was on Valley Road!) and later, Wayne Valley where we graduated in 1982. Ironically Loyla grew up to become a born-again Christian while I married an Orthodox Jew, but we have remained close. Our parents both still live in Wayne. Our sisters (Christy and Adrianne) were also best friends. This is a great family that could really use some help!  

The Chip In is at this link:http://thelouvisfamily.chipin.com/the-louvis-family

They are also registered at Bed Bath and Beyond to help replace some of their belongings: http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/regGiftRegistry.asp?wrn=-146560040

We just need help trying to get the message out. We have started a Facebook page and shared it like crazy. I have emailed everyone I know. We have contacted our Councilman, The Patch, etc. We are also trying to organize an all volunteer band benefit (bands so far are Brian Fitzpatrick and Band of Brothers, Scott Lea) night. But that is still in progress. Can you help us? Please let me know your thoughts.

Thank you!

Christine Jeffrey Minafri  
Diana H. Jeffrey

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Christine Jeffrey December 21, 2011 at 02:32 AM
Here is a link to the Facebook page set up to help the Louvis family. Thank you. And have a Merry Christmas! http://www.facebook.com/#!/events/289463821088959/
Loyla Louvis December 21, 2011 at 04:48 PM
Hi Ruby, I want to thank you so very much for helping to spread the word regarding my family's situation. The community support is so very helpful and has been felt in a big way. Facing a natural disaster has been eye opening, the recovery seems endless; the lessons learned, countless. So many have reached out to me through the Chip in page on Facebook and I am eager to pay it forward once we're back on our feet and able to bless others with the blessing we ourselves have received. Thanks again and have a wonderful holiday season and New Year.
Ruby Stanfield December 21, 2011 at 05:06 PM
Hi Loyla, I am happy I am able to spread the word. I know Al Sadowski and Pastor Karyn will be there for you too. Al reached out to Pastor Karyn and myself to see if we could help and then the email came from Christy so I know you have good people to get you through this. God bless you and your family.
Karyn Ratcliffe December 22, 2011 at 05:18 PM
Loyla, please let me know if there is any way we can help you. I know there are many people who are advocating on your behalf, and it's wonderful to see how our community continues to come together to help their neighbors-in-need. But I also don't want to assume that the response has been enough. Please contact me at WayneVOAD@gmail.com if there is anything we can do for you - especially between now and Christmas! God bless you and your family, and I hope you are surrounded by family, friends and prayers as you ring in the New Year.
ElleMichelle December 22, 2011 at 09:33 PM
There are so many other families that have suffered far worse. Where is the assistance for our Seniors that watched life long memories wash away?
Ruby Stanfield December 22, 2011 at 11:18 PM
@ElleMchelle I know there are many people that have suffered. If you know someone please have them contact WayneVOAD@gmail.com.


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