Non-Profit Starts Fundraiser to Assist South Louisiana shrimper

Rodney Verdin Boat
Rodney Verdin Boat

BATON ROUGE, La (press release) – Following a request by Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser and the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board, New Orleans Chef Amy Sins and the non-profit Fill the Needs has started a fundraiser for a Lafourche Parish shrimperin response to news reports thieves targeted his stranded boat.

The storm surge and high winds from Hurricane Ida washed Rodney and Rita Verdin’s boat, the La Belle Idee, aground in the marshes of Golden Meadow. Verdin says he has struggled to find help getting the boat back into the water. According to reports, thieves stripped the boat of tens of thousands of dollars of parts and equipment.

“It broke my heart when I learned about what Mr. Verdin and his wife are going through. So many people continue to struggle as they try to recover from a disaster. Now, some hard-working people are being victimized once again,” said Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser. “I am asking anyone who can help repair and get the Verdin’s boat back in the water so they can make a living to please do so. My wife Cher and I are donating $1,000. Please consider helping the Verdins.”

After seeing his story on the evening news in New Orleans, Lt. Governor Nungesser and the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board reached out to Chef Sins and Fill the Needs to identify ways to help the Verdins. What started as a community of coordinated volunteers responding to flooding in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in 2008 and southeast Louisiana in 2016 by Chef Amy Sins has now become Fill the Needs, a non-profit organization rapidly mobilizing a network of partners and volunteers to assess and coordinate resources required for efficient disaster response during the first 14 days. Aftera disaster, the organization supports ongoing relief efforts by providing funding, supplies and assists where they are lacking.

“Our team at Fill the Needs is committed to assisting the residents of South Louisiana. Our community has a strong connection to local fishermen. Not only do they provide amazing seafood for our kitchen tables, but they are also an essential element of our Louisiana culture,” Chef Amy Sins, president of Fill the Needs.

Rodney and Rita say their immediate needs are getting the boat lifted and back into the water, a new generator and a new motor, both stolen from the boat.

To make a donation that can help the Verdin’s regain their livelihood, please visit the Rodney and Rita Verdin fundraiser webpage. You can also contact Rodney and Rita Verdin at 504-701-8269 or the Lieutenant Governor’s Office at 225-342-7009.