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Loyola alumna leads volunteers to feed Iowa community coping with disaster

August 1, 2008

The last thing most Hurricane Katrina victims want to witness up close is another flood, but for a Loyola University mass communication graduate, it’s a chance to bring her disaster healing experiences across state lines.

Amy Cyrex Sins, A’98, author of the Katrina-inspired “Ruby Slippers Cookbook: Life, Culture, Family and Food After Katrina,” is travelling to Cedar Rapids, Iowa this weekend where she will be leading a group of volunteers, the New Orleans Cooks, on a relief mission. The group hopes to bring some southern comfort to the flood victims in the form of a hot meal and a shoulder to lean on. With the help of donations from many local companies such as the Louisiana Fish Fry Company, Zatarains and Hubig’s Pies, over 1,500 meals will be served throughout the weekend. Many New Orleanians also provided homemade desserts for the trip as well.

Sins said, “We know first hand how devastating the effects flood waters can have on a community. We want to show the people of Cedar Rapids the same type of comforting generosity others showed us after Katrina.”

In addition to serving meals this weekend, Sins and the New Orleans Cooks will work alongside Cedar Rapids non-profit organizations in clean-up efforts, crisis counseling and assistance with recovery related questions at a central resource center for residents.

Sins was inspired to write her first cookbook after the events of Hurricane Katrina ravaged her home in Lakeview. The cookbook is named “Ruby Slippers” because in the aftermath of Katrina, Sins wished she could just click her heels together and go home. Sins collected recipes from family, friends and local restaurants to create her book.

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