Katrina Relief ~ anyone go?

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Original Post

terryann says

www.flickr.com/photos/9680783@N02/

Here are some of my photos from my recient trip to a small town called Waveland, MS. I was there for a week and we worked with a Mom of 3 small foster children plus two teens of her own, she is still in the FEMA trailer (all of them together in one!). Got a lot done to her house, still not ready for move in, there was another team from French/Canada...who was going to be continuing our work. It was eye opening. Lot of other groups going there too, many had to camp on the site they were working at, good for us we had a "dorm" style situation and the Christian Life Center. They got started, in the K mart parking lot 24 hours after the storm and are still there today. So much I am still processing and thinking about. If you are interested in getting a group together from your community or chruch, there are links to the CLC here www.clcgulfcoast.com/ and
in my Blog... here is that link.
blog.360.yahoo.com/blog-6Vb5.zwlerXv4pokTqpHtA--;_ylt=AsznqTQavRSVQ...

:)

Posted at 4:28pm Jul 9, 2007 EDT

Responses

We're in Picayune, MS, a short drive from Waveland. It's true - there are still LOTS of people in FEMA trailers. :\

Posted at 4:31pm Jul 9, 2007 EDT

terryann says

anyone else have a story of info?
Did you survive the storm...? What is your story?

Posted at 5:06pm Jul 9, 2007 EDT

Wow, I'm just amazed to every hear anything about that area, even though it was hit so hard.

I have family in Bay St. Louis and Waveland. Including my Mom and Dad. I had two Uncles lose everything when that storm surge cleared the Terrain. (Not to mention the ones who lost houses elsewhere... but waveland/bay st. louis was just the worst)

That is so awesome that you went to help, they still need it. So many people were left with absolutely nothing, except maybe an insurance company that tried to get out of helping.

I spent some time there after the storm digging in mud and debris trying to find some family belongings. When you lose everything like my relatives did... you just want something to hang onto.. a photograph.. something that you can put your hands around and remember. To try and push back the shock and horror and I guess fear of the future starting over with nothing... but they were all thankful to have their lives, very thankful.

You can't not help people when you go, give a hand to strangers, give the clothes off your back.

There were people living in tents, fema trailors, even their treehouses (which oddly survived). My parents who were lucky to miraculously have their house spared were full with guests for quite some time. They've also had days you could go and get free trees to plant to try and replace all that the surge tore up too. Which is really nice to see people considering the land also.

Something that I found so interesting on the times I visited and I don't know if you got to see this was that.. perhaps in an effort to bring back normalcy, to feel like you had a home. People were putting lawn statuary up, making their yards pretty... there were no houses! nothing.. just the slab. Yet they'd set up their yard decorations and some chairs. A lot had even bought flowers when the Walmart got some in and planted them in front of their slabs and mud piles.

And a word about Walmart. As much as we all hate them. They did so much for the area after the storm. They opened up as soon as they could and did a lot for the people that they were not required to do. It looked almost like a sams warehouse, but they got stocked with food and building supplies and other necesseties, walmart did help in their time of need. Many of the other area big stores (like a certain lumber yard) refused to open until they "looked good" and so it was a LONG time before these people who could care less about looks could get their supplies to rebuild, or heck just make a shelter.

You couldn't just drive to the store (unless you drove a LOOONG time and somehow got around some downed bridges, figured out how to get gas... etc etc) and buy some food... you had to stock up and when walmart opened... it was so needed and appreciated.

One of the local mom and pop hardware stores opened up a window and just GAVE everything away. No charge. They just wanted to help people survive. (I need to ask my mom the name of that shop) That story really touched my heart.

I guess there are a lot of stories, with all our family there we heard so much. If I can find it I've got a video clip my mom took on her camera when it hit. She was in Covington weathering it out with family (As her area was super evacuated). And on this video you see the wind pull up a huge tree right outside the window. The force of the winds was just amazing.

Yeah I'll stop rambling. Maybe.

Just... The first visit I made was heart chilling. You could smell death. My dog did not like it all and he let us know, heck I didn't like it either. My Mom and Dad had gotten back to their home pretty quick after the storm. Maybe too quick :( as they were witness to some of the death... it really changes you, it does. Its hard to hear them tell of what they saw and I have only ever asked once... I don't think they enjoy talking about it.

Ok really I'll stop.

Thanks so much for doing what you did :) for helping and all those who do. I'm about to go back again the end of this month.

Micky

Posted at 8:23pm Jul 9, 2007 EDT

I volunteered with animal rescue groups in Gonzales, New Orleans, and Chalmette for over a month because I lived close by in Baton Rouge. There were some really good moments but they were few compared to the horrific things I saw. I got distressed and ended up taking a long break from traveling into New Orleans. But I'm glad because there were at least 3 reported suicides of other animal rescue volunteers several months later including one from the New Orleans area.

That's one thing that people don't know. For the first year after Katrina we kept hearing ambulances because we live near a hospital. The suicide rate is high for former New Orleans residents, but no one knows the exact rate. NPR did a story about this a couple of months ago. Doctors, lawyers, police officers, and other people who had lost their homes had given up hope of starting all over.

So it's great that people are still volunteering from all over the country to rebuild houses. Those residents really need support.

Posted at 8:34pm Jul 9, 2007 EDT

terryann says

Thank you Micky! Bless you and your family!

Posted at 8:35pm Jul 9, 2007 EDT

terryann says

Thank you Rosepinkston! Bless you and what you did, I know it was appreciated. I did hear the rate of depression and suicide in town, was very high. The week we were there one family just drove up (to our support center) with a truck full of stuff and donated (food etc) it all, because they were giving up and moving north to some family. They just couldn't take it anymore. There are reminders everywhere, you might be ok but your neighbor is still in the trailer and the places around you are in shambles.

Posted at 8:41pm Jul 9, 2007 EDT

My BIL's family is all from Pass Christian MS. They were all safe, though some of their houses weren't. Thankfully he had a few family members up here who could help out. This is a picture of his aunt's slab. Kinda drove it home for me...

www.flickr.com/photos/7347882@N08/506739494/

Posted at 8:44pm Jul 9, 2007 EDT

LoVe to you Terryann~

Posted at 8:45pm Jul 9, 2007 EDT

Thank you for your hard work.

Posted at 8:46pm Jul 9, 2007 EDT