A Louisiana man was honored by his community in front of millions on “Good Morning America” for helping give back to his community in a big way following its devastation by Hurricane Ida.
Hurricane Ida ripped through Louisiana in August and the state is still dealing with the aftermath, with power still out in some areas, roads blocked, and thousands of homes destroyed, but thanks to efforts by local good Samaritans, communities are banding together to ensure that their immediate needs are met.
Samuel Mamou, a special education teacher, and father of five from La Place, Louisiana, is one of those good Samaritans and was honored on the ABC morning news show for being a leader in a time of need for his neighborhood.
Mamou was surprised by his family and fellow members of his church’s congregation after what he thought would be a story focused on the New Wine Christian Fellowship Church.
Mamou’s home and the school where he teaches were also severly damaged by the hurricane, but instead of focusing on his own struggles, he decided to show up at his church home to help others and has done so every morning since.
“Sam is the one getting it all out, making sure that families get water, get food, get cleaning supplies and everything they need to get back on their feet,” said Neil Bernard, Mamou’s father-in-law and New Wine Christian Fellowship Church founder.
“It’s just something that he does because he loves to give back,” added Samuel’s wife, Kristen. “He loves to help people.”
To thank Mamou for his selfless dedication to his community, “GMA” pulled out all of the stops. Clorox donated two truckloads of cleaning supplies and $20,000 to the New Wine Christian Fellowship Church “to be used in the community.”
Adding a more personal touch, Mamou was surprised with a $10,000 check from Sheex, a bedding and mattress company, to help him and his family rebuild their home, as well as new mattresses and bed linens.
Former New Orleans Saints tight end Ben Watson surprised the family with tickets for everyone to a Saints game and a jersey signed by linebacker Demario Davis.
Mamou was visibly touched by the gifts and even shed a few tears during his tribute. “I’m humbled,” he said.
“I told one of my guys that if you handle God’s house, he’ll handle your house. This moment here just shows me once again that if you take care of God’s business, he’ll handle us as well. I’m just humbled and grateful.”
He added, “It’s not just about me; it’s about this team. Mamou also gave credit to the volunteers from the congregation standing behind him. “They’ve been helping out every day.”