2016's devastating floods left thousands of families with a lot of cleaning up to do. You could see the piles of debris carried to the curb after the water had receded. These piles weren't just filled with sheetrock and damaged carpet and flooring. For a lot of residents, the flood took away belongings that were collected over a lifetime. While many of those items can't be replaced, some of them can.

Here comes the internet to the rescue. CrowdRelief.net is taking on the challenge of connecting neighbors and strangers for the common good of all. The website allows flood victims to create a short synopsis of how the flood affected their home and their lives.

A volunteer from Crowd Relief will then visit with the applicant and assess that situation. Once a specific list of needs has been created the applicant's story along with pictures is then placed online.

The best way I can think of to describe how this works is like an online gift registry. Those affected by the flooding have detailed lists of items they need to get back on their feet. Those who choose to donate or supply those items have an easy method for connecting their generosity with those who are in need.

According to the site donations of money and goods and services are accepted. The entire organization is manned by volunteers and the clearing house or call center for the group is located in Lafayette.

Currently, over 100 families have completed the first steps to begin receiving help from the group. It is hoped that many more families and even more donors will step forward over the next several weeks.