Cajun Navy Foundation’s Social Media Team has been called the heartbeat of the organization. The calm in the midst of chaos, they continuously work behind the scenes to locate critical information and pass it along to those who are in a crisis. For Social Media Team member Gloria Godwin, walking people through difficult situations is deep-rooted. From the time she was a child, she learned the true meaning of “neighbors helping neighbors.”
Gloria remembers when she was about 12 years old, her neighbors lost their home to a fire. As she wondered what she could do to help, she noticed that everyone was coming together to try to get the family a house. From that time on, she found herself getting involved in various projects, finding ways to do something to help someone in need. At times, that might have meant starting a clothes drive or providing food. Later in life and over the years, she has taken in dozens – including people and pets, who needed a helping hand. Fulfilling unmet needs has became a part of Gloria.
“There’s always been something kind of ingrained in me that when there’s a need, whether it’s with Cajun Navy Foundation or just seeing somebody on the street that has a need; if you can fulfill that need, it’s your obligation to do so,” began Gloria. “And do it unconditionally. You can’t put conditions on helping others. You love people unconditionally and eternally.”
Gloria has been a part of Cajun Navy Foundation in a variety of capacities for a long time. Then when Hurricane Harvey came along last year, Gloria decided to see what she could do to help from home. She ended up on social media, most often the first point of contact for people looking for resources, as well as for those who want to volunteer. Whatever the need may be, she walks them through the steps. She helps people through the FEMA process, provides information about disaster unemployment, disaster food stamps and more. She constantly locates and shares local resources such as food banks, shelters and comfort stations as they come in.
“We walk them through all of those steps, and if they have any questions, they come back to us. So we have to know where everything is that everybody is going to need, and point them in that direction so they know where to go. We’re not just hanging out on Facebook. Whether they are in need of supplies, or rescue, or they need a tree off of their house, we are helping those people know where to turn,” said Gloria.
One volunteer, Char Richardson, referred to Gloria as her “Fairy Squadmother” in a recent Facebook post.
Char wrote, “Gloria McCracken Godwin…is unbelievably selfless and has been personally responsible for coordinating the life saving efforts and life-changing recovery after each devastating storm to hit the US over the last two years. It’s not easy, and the 24/7 volunteer work she does offers little reward other than knowing she had a hand in making the world a better place.”
While Gloria covers everything that she can think of on social media, she said that she is still learning. She is constantly editing and updating all those lists with happy fingers, sending out the most current information to those who need it.
“We’re going to do everything we can to encourage you, to build you up, and give you hope,” Gloria promised.
To become a volunteer with Cajun Navy Foundation, visit CrowdRelief.net.