Coordinating resources for the survivors
of major natural disasters.
Katrina's Angels Turkey Dinner in Moss Point Mississippi!
Hi guys! What a day! The news crew from NBC were here along with Tony AND the local TV crew were here too!
Samantha actually got interviewed from the local station so I can't wait to see this report.
We did GREAT! 10 Kids from Americore showed up to help and I don't think we could have
made it without them......Karen, Lynne and I worked our butts off all day! We have a "new" member
that replied to our listing on Crags list and came down to help and her name is Myrna so she will be a
regular now along with Karen's younger sister Brenda.....they are both wonderful people.
Rochelle was here with her husband Charles along with Stacy M. and Jenny Dodds and Pauline and her husband Dick.
Early in the week when Karen and Myrna arrived they worked there butts of making bags of personal
toiletries and books up for everyone. Well, I will let you know more later because I can't stand
typing on my laptop......not used to it so I keep spelling everything wrong. Talk to you all soon!
Here are some pictures from repairing the roof at the shelter. Somehow Seth Tino and I had the pleasure of working there for a day. It was a beautiful day and we had 2 contractors help us--Jerry for a few hours in the AM (drove 60 miles ONE way to spend time) and Danny Harper, roofer extraordinaire. Danny is a quiet, hardworking guy who had the patience of an angel himself while trying to show Seth and I how to hammer the shingle nails in. This is how Seth and I hammered :
Ten taps with hammer, pull the nail out because it was in crooked and then 10 more taps to get it in again.
Danny showed us the correct way and worked diligently for hours with us to get the shingles on straight in the sun, leaving only to pick up his 3 children from school. It was neat because as we were working, people would stop by and help us for an hour . Seth was terribly manly and learned how to pound the nails in with only 2 strokes of the hammer.
We cleaned up debris and fed a homeless stray dog a couple of hot dogs. A few people stopped by to ask when the shelter would be back in business---one was a guy that we think may have been staying there to begin with. Other than the one room that needs gutted because of the damage from the roof leaking, the shelter is in great shape and will be a great resource for the community once fixed up. There is some ground there for a playground and a walking trail. I can't wait to get started with the improvements.
We got lots of inspiration from a pastor, Duane Collins from Memphis (2 Memphis men on the roof with me---does it get any better? Even when I was paralyzed with fear I would fall!) Duane is a force of nature and a great guy
I walked into a meeting part way through and heard Pastor Cunningham finishing his prayer but his words really stayed with me. He said that while Katrina had caused so many bad things, it also created many good things---because how else would we have met each other and worked together on the dinner and shelter. And that's the silver lining on the cloud. We were welcomed with open, loving arms by hundreds of people that I will never forget. The ladies in the kitchen served 50% more people than we anticipated and didn't miss a beat, the kids were full of energy and enthusiasm, the Americorps volunteers saved our aching backs by carrying about 2 tons on canned goods to people's cars, we re-acquainted ourselves with Jenni Dodds and Stacy Masiero, who worked with KA in the beginning and just came along to help and join in, we met Myrna, the sweetest woman alive, and ate fried green tomatoes, fried pickles and the best cornbread dressing ever. Pauline Henning and her husband, Dick, were there in the mobilehome, Realtors on the Go and I got a ride in the dune buggy! Dick learned how to bake some delicious sweet potato pies and was a force to be reckoned with in the kitchen.
But the best was meeting Cheryl, Samantha, Karen, Brenda, Miss Barbara, Seth, Tony and his friends, Sam and Marvin---meeting these people was the best! I learned a lot and saw the devastation , even after a year plus. The humility and generosity of the people of Moss Point was a miracle I was humbled to experience. And I also have to say, the KA people worked like dogs and for our first event, really impressed me, even more than I had been prior. I can't wait for the next--God knows what we can do the next time!
Explanation of pictures:
PB170023---the roof BEFORE
PB170043--Seth being manly and the roof AFTER. Duane and Danny.
PB170065 Americorps kids
PB170055 Myrna and the kids
PB170044 The Honorable Mayor of Sun, guests and Duane kneeling and Lynne. We were very envious as they had an "official" vehicle with flashing lights and probably made it home in record time!
PB160019 Front of the shelter--used to be an old firehouse.
PB160024 Pauline Henning and Duane
PB170029 Debris ---notice blue FEMA issued tarp---so flimsy and probably lasted one week before deteriorating. Seth and I cleaned this up by hand and I met some red ants. (no gloves!)
PB170032 Duane and Danny
PB170035 Proof that I was, indeed, on the roof with Duane. My role was to be the one who fetched the materials (nails, hammer, cutter, shingles, etc.) Notice the beautiful weather. It was great, in the low 70's, and not a cloud to be seen.
PB170040 Mitch Erby, a guy who stopped by on his way home from work, just to lend a hand. He is a BIG man but he re-energized us at the end of the day when we were running out of gas. Seth and I were committed to staying there until completion but at the speed we were moving after 8 hours on the roof, we might have been there 'til morning without Mitch hustling us along. Also we were scared the roof would collapse with Mitch there so we worked faster!