Creators of disaster relief docu-series aim to make a difference

Kathleen Hilliard

“It is a place where there’s festivals and fun and good food and family, and you’re not alone in the crowd in this area. You can sink in so easily to find friends and find your tribe. That’s one of the beautiful things about this culture,” enthused Justin D. Roberts as he spoke about the Southwest Louisiana community.

Justin Roberts is the director and producer of “DO GOOD,” a 10-episode docu-series that premiered its first episode March 5 on YouTube.

The second episode is expected to be uploaded this Friday, April 8. All episodes can be found on YouTube by searching “Do Good,” and Facebook updates along with more information on the series can be found on their Facebook page at “Do Good Army.”

The series is shedding light on the outpouring of love and determination in the face of devastation that is following the deadly Category 4 Hurricane Laura that wrecked Southwest Louisiana in August, followed only six weeks later by Hurricane Delta.

“Our [natural disaster] was just a blip in the news,” expressed Roberts, “It was forgotten. So many people across the country don’t remember Hurricane Laura. They barely heard anything about it, so why would they donate money, why would they come down and volunteer? They never heard any of the stories.”

This 10-episode series is featuring organizations such as the Cajun Navy, animals, North Lake Charles, first responders, businesses, and Cameron along with many others.

“Whatever the need is, whoever is stepping up to do good, we try to tell their stories,” enthused Roberts, “It’s a storytelling engine to do good for those who do good.”

Roberts is a military veteran and the founder of Echo Bravo Productions, which focuses on making “military-, veteran- and first responder-centered films.” The company produced the award-winning documentary NO GREATER LOVE about U.S. military members fighting in Afghanistan. They hope that this will serve a similar impact and spark conversation about perseverance and prevention to better these cities against future storms and help them rise from their current predicament.

Roberts and his co-host Hank Barbe, who is also a veteran and the lead singer in the Three Beards Band, both united as a support system for one another after their time in the military. Wanting to continue to help those around them, they brainstormed ways to use their skills to partner up to do something to make a difference. Roberts said that he, a veteran military chaplain, wanted to continue his work and his way of helping through filmmaking. It was his way to continue telling stories while also figuring out how to help people in the process. Roberts own home where he lived with his family was destroyed by Laura along with his office space for Echo Bravo Productions.

The docu-series is sponsored by CoreLogic, a global property information, analytics and data-enabled solutions company that provided the property damage estimates and weather forensics science behind the documentary.

All proceeds from the YouTube revenue will go to United Way to distribute to charities around SWLA to help them help others in their community.

Featured charities include United Way, Cajun Navy Foundation, Aerial Recovery Group, Compassion Kind, Care Help, Southwest Louisiana Health Clinic, and Southwest Louisiana Community Foundation.

Roberts explained that the best way to help is by watching the videos and sharing them to get them across the nation.

“This was the one thing I could do to help, is to go back to what I do for a living and tell stories and direct that into a way to make money for those making a difference. We hope it helps. That’s our only goal,” expressed Roberts, “The whole point of it is to humanize the stories and to not just say what happened, but who – who are these people? To see these people and not just see them as statistics, but as human beings. We’re … letting the story tell themselves. We’re releasing as quickly as we can, but we want to make sure they’re the best they can be and make sure we do right by the people who told them.”””

Justin Roberts, left, is the director and producer of “Do Good.”  Co-host Hank Barbe, right, is the lead singer in the Three Beards Band. Both are military veterans.

Special to the American Press

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