Those victims, too, have been hard at work, finding lost family members, enrolling their children in new schools and finding new jobs.
Phara Bourque also wanted to help, albeit a little differently. Just as people often think to donate creature comforts like stuffed animals for children, Phara wanted to do something for the women whose lives have been ravaged by Katrina.
Phara has organized several drop-off stations in the region where people can donate something that's as ubiquitous to women as stuffed animals are to children — purses.
"It is psychologically good for the kids to have something of their own," Phara said, adding that the same is true of women and mothers.
"Women have a tendency to place themselves last," Phara said, after their children, after their own parents.
Inspired by similar donation drives that are asking for backpacks filled with school supplies, Phara is soliciting "new or slightly new" purses filled with things like hand creams and lotions, make-up or brushes.
"They're not going to go out and treat themselves to these items," she said. "A lot of women feel better with a little lipstick on."
Though she does call the donations "feel-good items," Phara doesn't consider them unimportant.
"Without your purse, you're lost," she said.
For the rest of this story, please see this week's edition of The Cadiz Record.