St. Louis Sends Truckloads of Aid to Bosnia After Catastrophic Flooding

Categories: News

bosniacenterboxes.jpg
Courtesy of St. Louis Bosnian
Volunteers gather supplies to ship to Bosnia after devastating floods.
Bosnians in St. Louis are mobilizing to send truckloads of urgent aid back to Bosnia after an epic three-day rain storm flooded much of the country, killing dozens and potentially dislodging land mines buried during the 1992-'95 war.

In St. Louis, which has a larger Bosnian population than anywhere else outside of Bosnia, volunteers are gathering and shipping donations to help after the flood destroyed 100,000 homes and buildings, killed 40 and left a million people without water, according to Reuters.

"The aid needed in Bosnia is immediate," says Erna Grbic, an owner at Grbic Restaurant and an organizer for the aid effort, to Daily RFT. "After Bosnia survived a war, the economy is not strong enough to provide support to the families affected. Entire cities are underwater. Families have lost all they had, and unfortunately, flood/disaster insurance doesn't exist in our country."

See also: St. Louis Bosnians Unite to Help 2-Year-Old Battling Rare Cancer

bosniafloodingbest.JPG
Courtesy of Erna Grbic
Grbic's grandmother sent this photo of the flooding in Sanski Most, in north-western Bosnia.
The rainstorm, which dumped three months of rain in three days, flooded Bosnia with the heaviest rainfall in more than 120 years, causing overflowing rivers and hundreds of landslides.

"The consequences...are terrifying," Bosnian Foreign Minister Zlatko Lagumdzija said at a news conference. "The physical destruction is not less than the destruction caused by the war...During the war, many people lost everything. Today, again, they have nothing."

Here in St. Louis, local Bosnians and supporters gathered Friday to make a plan for collecting aid and donations. By Sunday afternoon organizers had already filled a semi-truck with the most urgently needed items, including medicine and baby items, and were preparing even more donations to ship.

See also: St. Louis Bosnians Meet With Police, Talk Public Safety After Two Tragic Immigrant Shootings

Alpha Transport, a Bosnian-owned company in St. Louis, will drive donations to Chicago, where Bostel TV has chartered planes to transport aid, Grbic says.

Want to help? Here's how to donate.

You can contribute money to the Go Fund Me fundraising page, A Heart for Bosnia online.

The Bosnian Chamber of Commerce (5039 Gravois Road) will accept donations from 5 to 8 p.m. through Friday. The chamber also accepts financial donations.

Items urgently needed include: over-the-counter medicine (such as paracetamol, antiseptics, anti-diarrhea tablets), disinfectants, blankets, clothes, shovels, canned food, baby food, bottled water, flashlights, candles, hygiene products (soap, dry wash, hand sanitizer, facial tissue, toothbrush), can openers, sleeping bags, eighteen-gallon bins with lids, and baby items (diapers, creams, wipes, clothes, formula.)

Follow Lindsay Toler on Twitter at @StLouisLindsay. E-mail the author at Lindsay.Toler@RiverfrontTimes.com.


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18 comments
Amanda Lestina
Amanda Lestina

it is heart warming to see. if you can donate time or money to this great cause

Shelly Marie Walker
Shelly Marie Walker

That's wonderful that they are so charitable! Kudos to all who are helping. I don't see what the big deal is about them helping their country. Bosnians aren't the first people from different countries to have to seek refuge in St. Louis. How many of you have actually talked to a Bosnian? Find out what happened to their families to have to come here? I have. Why be so close minded about the situation? The Bosnians I have met in St. Louis are some of the hardest workers I know.

Stephanie Thorsten
Stephanie Thorsten

The needy in "our own backyard" have more resources available to them then other countries. The majority in "our own backyard" are also lazy, greedy and expect a handout. There IS a difference.

Stephanie Thorsten
Stephanie Thorsten

Our homeless have plenty opportunities to find food, shelter, clothing and work that those struggling overseas don't. Besides, what's a few things out of your pantry really costing you? It's crap we shouldn't be eating anyway.

Harrison Elfrink
Harrison Elfrink

Not only that Danielle, but St. Louisians, even those who are not from the Balkans, can empathize with the Bosnians and Serbs affected by the floods, since we have similar inundations that occur about every once a few decades (such as the '93 flood)

Harrison Elfrink
Harrison Elfrink

I think people who complain about us sending food and aid to Bosnians afflicted by the Balkan flood, stating that "people here need help" are either jealous, have a hard heart or are closeted xenophobes/racists. Also, what the Bosnian and Serbian people are going through now is a very similar tribulation that St. Louis and surrounding areas went through in 1993. St. Louis not only has a large Bosnian population, but we actually suffer from similar calamitous floods every once in a few decades.

Jim Cherry
Jim Cherry

Stupidity when our own are starving

Danielle C Dumey
Danielle C Dumey

We have a huge Bosnian community here in St. Louis and they have improved a lot on our city neighborhoods. Open shops, resturants ect. building up money here locally they pay taxes just as we do. There lot of good strong families I have met over the years here love being here but why should they not be able to help when something like that happens in there home country. Im sure tons of them have families still living there. We have things happen such and tornado's, floods, ect that they would donate for us so why shouldn't we help if possible. My guess a lot of these donations are coming from bosnian families in the area anyway. People need to give forward in they can regardless if its for the people of STL or overseas. Doing good deeds should never be judge.

SaraMae Larson-Gilley
SaraMae Larson-Gilley

pretty sure i have nothing to prove here... just wanted to point out theyre sending truck loads across the waters... and i dont care who for.. while i watch our people in our own city go hungry.. pretty sure we would be better to help others if we all helped each other first..... everyones got opinions.. but whos actually helping??

wimple
wimple

gravois avenue county idiot

SaraMae Larson-Gilley
SaraMae Larson-Gilley

also have been helping prep and serve hot meals to the homeless once a month since i was 8...

SaraMae Larson-Gilley
SaraMae Larson-Gilley

i make monthly trips downtown with cases of water, fresh fruit, snacks, sandwiches and clean clothes and blankets to give out.......... what are you doing?

SaraMae Larson-Gilley
SaraMae Larson-Gilley

were doing all this to help them while our own people of downtown st louis go hungry and dirty for another day... week.. month... year??????? kudos or whatever for trying.. but how can we help anyone else for real if we cant help whats right in our faces?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?????

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