Pointe Coupee Parish was spared the brunt of Hurricane Laura.

While we now can pause to give thanks for that, we must not forget one thing.

If Hurricane Laura did not roar directly over Pointe Coupee Parish, she took her wrath out on another part of Louisiana.

Lake Charles and Calcasieu Parish suffered the most damage from 150-mph winds and rain.

The only comfort the western parish can take is the expected 35-foot storm surge did not occur.

Electricity and water service are slowly coming back in Lake Charles; government officials are talking about weeks, not days or hours.

And it was not just one parish.

Alexandria, in central Louisiana, and Natchitoches got the Category 1 Hurricane Laura, with winds up to 85 mph.

Even Shreveport felt that.

Other parts of Louisiana, and the nation, have extended a helping hand to our area after hurricanes.

We know that Pointe Coupee Parish can do the same.

Already, Pointe Coupee Parish Sheriff Rene Thibodeaux is planning a relief donation trip to Lake Charles on Friday.

The sheriff also helped organize those with boats and chainsaws to go when requested and help the area.

Everyone cannot take off work and go the Lake Charles to help, but there are many other ways to ease the burden of our fellow Louisiana residents.

We can donate items needed in the cleanup and recovery, from cleaning supplies to drinking water to batteries.

Feeding the work crews – some 17,000 alone from out of state – is an awesome chore. The cooks and food wagons going west could use food donations.

Monetary donations also can help, but we urge residents to make sure you are donating to a reputable group.

To find out where such donations can be made, state government websites and social media offer ways to find out who and where anyone can help.

No one is truly immune from a natural disaster.

Louisiana has had its share, and every time our neighbors have stood up to volunteer, to donate and to ease the burden of those affected.

This is a lesson that should be taught in our schools and stressed in our communities.

We should rely on our local, parish, state and federal governments to respond when Mother Nature strikes out.

But we should also step up to join them in any way we can.

We wish a recovery as fast as possible for the Lake Charles area.

We should recall the adage, “There but for the grace of God, go I.”