A Louisiana man who made it his personal mission to ensure that hurricane victims had the basic necessities to live received a surprise gift on national television.
Samuel Mamou, a special education teacher and father of five, was celebrated live on Good Morning America Thursday for his work in the community and his selfless acts of kindness.
Mamou stepped in after Hurricane Ida ripped through Louisiana, leaving people displaced and without food, water, clothing, and more. His hometown of La Place was damaged, but he organized an effort with his church, New Wine Christian Fellowship Church, to help bring aid to their neighbors.
“You can imagine for so many people, it’s hot, no water, no power, and no food. It can make life very miserable,” said New Wine Christian Fellowship Church founder Neil Bernard, who is also Mamou’s father-in-law. “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.”
Mamou’s work has not only impacted lives but has also inspired others, including volunteer Latanya Eugene, who commended Mamou for showing up to help others each day.
“He can easily say, ‘Well, no, I don’t want to come down. I have to take care of mine,’ but, no, that’s not who he is,” said Eugene. “He’s here at 7:30, 8 o’clock every morning, getting things set up. He’s smiling with the people, giving them a smile, you know, letting them know things [are] going to be OK.”
Mamou and his family were surprised with a $10,000 check from Sheex, a bedding and mattress company, to help them rebuild their home.
Clorox also donated two truckloads of supplies and $20,000 to help Mamou and the New Wine Christian Fellowship purchase more Clorox supplies to continue to give back to the community.
“We can do a lot with this. We can do a whole lot with this,” said Mamou. “Thank you so much.”
Mamou said he is motivated to help by his faith, following the motto, “If you handle God’s house, he’ll handle your house.”
Another volunteer, Blaine Robertson, called Mamou a “modern-day hero,” adding, “We forget to kind of look at the people who are in our lives every day who are really doing the work to help and impact someone else.