Pearlington Report Card

A dynamic report on the activities of the members of C.O.D.R.A. - the Coalition of Disaster Relief Agencies operating in Pearlington, Mississippi in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Each member group is autonomous and selects its own projects, completely independent of both C.O.D.R.A. and the Pearlington Recovery Center.

11 April, 2007

Report from McLean Baptist Church

McLean Baptist Church
Dirty Faith II
Katrina Recovery Mission Trip to
Pearlington, Mississippi
February 2007
Mission Trip Report and Review

The McLean Baptist Church Katrina Recovery Mission Trip proved to be a resounding success. A diverse team of 55 missioners got their faith dirty as they all worked side by side for several days in Pearlington, Mississippi at no less than 10 separate sites and projects. Our work assignments included deck and handicap ramp construction, interior and exterior painting, bathroom and foyer tile work, electrical work, insulation installation, yard and grounds clean up, siding and window installation, debris removal, field kitchen help, and lumber salvage. Our work was hard, our days were long, our spirits stayed elevated, and our familiar accommodations at the Pearlington Recovery Center shelter met our needs.

Many within the group worked along side their children, and some learned new home building skills as more seasoned hands guided their labors to success. All of the MBC missioners exceeded the anticipated goals set by several project managers working to see Pearlington recover. In many instances, project leaders familiar with volunteer laborers found our group to be fast, professional, energetic, and above all, willing. One said without reserve that we had accomplished a week’s worth of work in two days.

The McLean Baptist Church mission group completed 1,204 total man hours of work and related support activities during the trip. The five-man Advance Team logged some 7,200 hundred total miles in three vehicles as they transported tools, supplies, and luggage to and from the Gulf Coast. Ample financial donations from the extended MBC family enabled the mission group to purchase additional building materials locally to advance our progress and that of several displaced residents. In a few of the work projects, McLean’s work force advanced the timetable for re-entry into permanent housing by several weeks.

A small group of MBCers split off from our main mission body for two days and joined hands and efforts with Hickory Hammock Baptist Church (HHBC) of Milton, Florida to prepare a storm damaged church sanctuary for drywall installation. The willingness of HHBC to partner with McLean Baptist Church arose from a cooperative spirit forged in February 2006 while Pearlington still struggled in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. A half dozen missioners completed the final brush strokes of paint, and thereby finished a year-long road to recovery for the New Hope Baptist Church, a project we worked on during our first trip to Pearlington in 2006. Just in time for regular Sunday services, this group gave the grounds of New Hope a thorough clean up and prepared the church’s flower beds for new spring planting.

Many of the McLean volunteers worked under the supervision and direction of project coordinator Tom Dalessandri of "Mountains to Mississippi," a Pearlington rebuilding project based in Carbondale, Colorado. At the home of Everett Cook, our teams installed French doors and an exterior handicap access ramp, and painted the home’s interior walls. For the residence of Shirley Thompson, our eager hands installed insulation in the crawl space, laid tile in the bathroom and foyer, did needed electrical work, cleaned the construction site, and organized unused materials and supplies for the next volunteer work force. At the homes of Joseph Keyes and Etta Lee, teams of rakers and baggers attended to a half acre of storm and construction debris. The cleaned sites elevated the spirits of both home owners and improved the overall appearance of their neighborhood street.

At the home of Ben Taylor, a man who has given much of his time and energy to so many in Pearlington, our teams built a front porch and a rear deck for his home. On the property of Sam Bailey, MBCers removed storm toppled trees and spread mulch on a future volunteer vehicle parking and encampment location. A small group dismantled and salvaged the wood and decking from an unused handicap ramp in the yard of Susie Sharp. A large group of men and women from MBC worked along side with Clem and his son at their construction site and installed windows and vinyl siding on their residence.

Missioners from the McLean Baptist Church and Westwood Baptist Church pitched in where and when necessary to assist the weary hands of Zeke and Jim in the shelter field kitchen and in Pearl*Mart. Tables were cleaned, vegetables were chopped, bananas were offloaded, and trash was removed. Each morning and night, our group of volunteers clustered around a warm and cheery bonfire with fellow Christian volunteers from New York, Massachusetts, Utah, Colorado, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, and Florida. Fellowship and Christian witness abounded as members of our group of Virginians and Marylanders mingled with other like minded individuals and groups from distant place.…all eager and willing to step up, step in, and help out.

Near the conclusion of our mission time in Pearlington, generous contributions from our group enabled the purchase, assembly, and distribution of ten infant and toddler care kits for some single mothers in Pearlington. At the conclusion of our mission journey, a smooth transition; a handoff of work projects, contacts and materials was made to another group of volunteers arriving from New York. Within an hour or so after our departure, these Methodists from Upstate New York began their work and continued the progress on several of our job sites.

Throughout our time in Pearlington, the Advance Team and others from MBC maintained a close and congenial working relationship with Laurie Spaschak, Bob Putnam, Larry Randall, and Herb Ritchie of the Pearlington Recovery Center. The tireless efforts of these dedicated volunteers and those of Charlie Holmes of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship have enabled countless hundreds of volunteers to work toward the recovery, rebuilding, and restoration of Pearlington, Mississippi. It was our group’s honor and pleasure to witness such steadfast determination and dedication given in service to those still struggling under immense strain and turmoil.

My thanks and praise go out to the members of our mission group and to those of our congregation who so willingly supported our journey and labor with their generosity and prayers. We advanced the clock on Pearlington’s recovery, we were the hands and feet of Christ, we got our faith dirty.

And grace will lead me home,
Pete Traynham

04 January, 2007

Report from Pickin' Up The Pieces

Linda Edwards posts this:

Upcoming trips – Please join us:
January 12 – 16, 2007
February 16 – 20, 2007
March 12 – 16, 2007
April – to be announced
May – to be announced
June 2-8, 2007

December 27 – December 31, 2006

Delivered 150 winter coats to Pearl Mart which were donated by members of Asbury Memorial UMC, Savannah, GA.

Also, we had a group of 5 Savannah volunteers joined by 6 more volunteers from California & Oregon to continue work on the OHAAT home of Dennis & Ivy Watson. We completed much of the plumbing and electrical and began an addition onto the home that will eventually house 7 family members.

We are currently gathering information to submit to the Salvation Army to secure more grants to complete work on some of the remaining OHAAT houses. We are networking with other groups to work on these homes so that we can have more continuity in handing off these projects from one group to another. Communication is key between groups so that one group doesn’t have figure out where the other group left off. We hope to have materials in place by mid February to work on these homes. Any group interested in joining us in completing these houses are welcome, electrical and plumbing experience a plus!. Please contact me at

December 15 – 17

We had a group of 5 volunteers travel to the distribution center in Pearlington, MS (Pearl Mart) to distribute gift bags to 160 children who were adopted through our Adopt an Angel Program. The out reach was a huge success in that we had a tremendous amount of participation from the Savannah community as well as participation from folks from Colorado, Wisconsin, New York and North Carolina. The Stennis Rotary Club supplemented our outreach to include gift cards to an additional 120 children for a total of 280 children benefiting from this holiday outreach. We also adopted out 5 particularly needy families identified through the Gulfview Elementary School in Kiln, MS. The distribution was preceded by a 10 + vehicle parade of emergency vehicles complete with sirens blaring and lights flashing. The parade ended at Pearl Mart with the arrival of the guest of honor, Santa, and his helper, who incidently looked a lot like Elvis! Special thanks to Asbury Memorial United Methodist Church, Hallmark Homes of Savannah, Stennis Rotary Club, and the Savannah Bar Association for their support.

07 December, 2006

Report from Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Mississippi

Dear Friends:

Today my daughter, Ann and her daughter, Kristen went to Pearlington to take some light fixtures, etc. We made the rounds of the homes in progress and much progress has been made!

Before I tell you of the progress of the homes, Charles Holmes was in an accident yesterday. He seems to be okay except the seat-belt tightened too much across his chest and his head did hit the steering wheel. He thinks the vehicle will be totaled. He is still in Pearlington, but he's walking very carefully.

Vickie Netto's house is complete and even furnished. (I do plan to purchase a dresser & mirror for both the children's rooms.)

Jesse Dickens - one of our rebuild projects is complete. He's been home now for several weeks. His house is beautiful; the FEMA trailer is gone.

Jim & Nancy Thrailkill of Rifle, CO, were diligently working on Vanessa Lee's home. The weather was a little too cool to dry Nancy's sheet-rock mudding. Windows are in and outside doors are up. Almost ready for inside paint.

We took a tour of Dallas Trammel's new digs. The windows are in place. The outside doors are up. The insullation is in place, but the sheet-rock has not been started.

Pam & Mike Aultman have been in their new home for months now - this one was started by Winter Park Bapt. Church....worked on my many volunteers..... built by Tidal Creek Fellowship (Jim & Susie Merritt.). Now Pam & Mike as well as Susie Sharp are helping out their neighbors.

The home of Ada & Sunnie Palode is so near completion.....the kitchen cabinets arrived damaged but they were promised quick delivery on the replacements. It should have been before Thanksgiving. Maybe before Christmas?? The sign says "Thank you America Baptist Churches" with red hearts in each corner. [See the picture above - Ed.]

Alma McArthur's house is complete and she has probably moved in by now.

The home of Glen Bazor's family (of five) is still a work in progress. Glen is doing so much of the work himself things move more slowly. When he asks for help, Charles shares the volunteers with him since the Bazor home is one of the ABC/CBF projects.

The same is true of the Herb Ritchie (rebuild) home. Herb and his family have still not moved in; they are doing most of the work themselves.

Ken & Cathi Short have been back in their home for months now. Here too, Ken & Cathi did much of the work before they started helping their neighbors.

Best regards, Nell Nation

11 November, 2006

Tom Dalessandri: The Pearlington Project

Greetings all,

The following is a report on our most recent trip:

Howard Bixler and myself drove to Pearlington loaded with tools and appliances. Linda Edwards from Pickin' Up The Pieces and Eileen Powers and her son Alex Yamich had just left a few days prior and had continued the work on some of our projects.

We followed up with Jon and Nan Givens. Jon had was recovering from back surgery (he rebuilt most of his house himself with recycled materials from his destroyed home) We offered to build his porch but as in the past he declined asking us instead to help others in need.

We moved on to Debbie Sonnier's where we installed her countertops purchased with AmeriCares funds, purchased and installed rain gutters, interior trim, and cut up the gigantic tree that Mark and Roger from Carb Fire had cut down a few weeks earlier.

From there we moved onto to Lena Maculis where Howard installed bathtubs and fixed flooring issues.

Our primary focus was Sandra Merla's. As I had mentioned earlier, Linda and her crew and Eileen and son Alex had done some great debris removal and demolition work for us. We gathered some volunteers from the Pearlington Resource Center and finished tearing down the damaged front wall, tore up the flooring to exposed the damaged floor supports and removed the damaged roofing. Howard repaired the floor supports and secured the roofing. That job is now getting very close to begin reconstruction, hopefully on our next two trips. Sandra was very happy and can now begin to see the future prospects of returning to her home, something she, until now wasn't sure would ever happen.

We finished installing some appliances at the Taylors and met with the Dawsey's. You may recall, the Dawsey's were in a leaking molding FEMA trailer. Thanks to Liza Cowen from AmeriCares who made a few phone calls, their trailer was replaced and we are sizing up the completion of their Walls of Hope home. Much interior work needs to be done and we are putting them on our work list.

I met with Shirley Thompson who also has the Wall's of Hope home under construction. She is moving along nicely and needs some assistance that we will help provide.

We went to Raymond Diaz place as well at the request of Tim Goodnow to size up a structural problem. Howard put his expertise as a builder to work and will get back to Tim G. on his findings.
I met with Liza Cowen from AmeriCares and Sarah Pinskey from Kaboom. Liza asked if I would tour Sarah through Pearlington. That Saturday, Kaboom was scheduled to build a playground at the relocated school site in the Kiln. Howard and I went to help with the project and found that the community turned out in huge numbers to get the job done. It was quite the event.

This was one of our longer stays and a special thanks to the Taylor's for putting up with us and "feeding us" for a long nine days. Even with all our effort time went by fast and we found ourselves not getting done as much as we would have liked.

Pearlington is moving along. Probably about 35% of the homes are built or under construction. Still there are as many that haven't been touched or are in need of assistance. We have applied for a second AmeriCares grant and hope to assist families with other grants that I am researching and applying for.

On the way out of town I took Howard through New Orleans. He was absolutely astounded by the devastation and lack of progress there and throughout the Gulf.

We can all be very proud of what we have accomplished but we must never take for granted all that remains to be done. We are their best hope for recovery. The saga continues....

Special thanks for this last trip to: Hilary, Ron L., Taylors, Liza, Eileen & Alex, Linda Edwards, Lauren Taylor, Vern Holmes, Larry Randall and many others who made our last trip both possible and a success.

Next trip is scheduled for the weekend after Thanksgiving.

04 October, 2006

The Pearlington Project: Mountains to Mississippi

August 30, 2006

It’s Wednesday night and the end of an extraordinary trip.

Roger Ball, Mark Basset and Kevin Green from Carbondale Fire all joined me in this mission. We brought chain saws and borrowed Ben Taylor's tools. The boys worked 10-hour days cutting very challenging, technical and dangerous trees - all without a mistake. I could see the relief come over the faces of the residents as the trees fell and no longer threatened their home or safety.

We continued our finishing touches on Debbie Sonnier's house, whose smile was as beaming as I have ever seen it. She is in her house and, while there is work yet to be done, Mark put on his carpentry hat and finished more of the detail work that makes a house a home. They worked right up to 12:30 p.m. today until they had to run to the airport. None of them wanted to leave.

They are ‘hooked’ on Pearlington.

I submitted another Salvation Army grant today on behalf of a group called Pickin’ Up The Pieces. I hand-delivered the grant to Biloxi to be sure it got in the hands of the review committee. I also met with Liza Cowan from Americares and toured her through town, showing her our work and accomplishments. What a great person she is and we had an enjoyable visit with much deep discussion as we continue to sort through the meaning of all this.

As always I hate to leave, there is so much still to do. G. Bush flew directly over us while we were taking down the most difficult tree. His entourage of helicopters was en route to Gulfport from New Orleans. Too bad he wasn't on the ground to really see who the heroes are. We could have used that helicopter, by the way.

The Reunion was great, with lots of remembering and recognition. Good folks, good food, good place to be. Special thanks to Susie Sharp and Canada Jon.

Here’s a quick recap of what we did:

Sandra Merles - cut down about eight trees two of which were snagged and very dangerous, moved her shed and Eileen Powers and her son and Alex started gutting
Debbie Sonnier - cut an eight foot pine a foot from her house, hung cabinets, bathroom door, dry walled, got here some curtains, few other odds and ends
Susie Necaise - dropped off donated washer and dryer
Jeanne Brooks mother - cut a white oak from her yard
Sam Bailey - cut numerous trees along power lines and next to house
Larry Randall and Herb Ritchie - cut several trees from each of their home sites - they were very relieved....

- Picked up and checked out the ambulance
- Worked with Paula B. and Anita B. formulating the Emergency Plan and very nearly implemented it for Ernesto
- Wrapped up with a celebration at Turtle Landing - Ben Taylor called in the gators for the boys to see.

Special thanks to the Taylors who always make their home ours and are very much a part of us.

Tom Dalessandri
The Pearlington Project: Mountains to Mississippi

Please check out our new web site, located at:

BRICK Layers of Alabama

What a REMARKABLE weekend!

47 people hit Pearlington the first weekend in September and what a difference they made! First priority was the Ladner home. The Sunday before I stood looking at sheetrock and unfinished mud and cried. The following Sunday I cried because I was looking at a house with white ceilings, "chinchilla" walls, crown moulding with caulk and a shiny white enamel finish, all interior doors and casings installed ( a few still need to be caulked and painted), clean windows, all outlets and switches installed, many of the fixtures, including 3 ceiling fans were installed, a/c vents installed, tile in the bathrooms, kitchen and laundry room and pantry, toilets installed. Within the next two weeks, the flooring and cabinets will be installed. Then they will be very close to moving in.

George and Margaret never stopped smiling. We had a shower for them Saturday night. They opened presents for an hour – kitchen towels, cooking utensils, baking pots and pans, dishes, eating utensils, lamps, sheets, towels, a comforter. Then the ladies who were in charge of the shower brought out a brand new dishwasher, a hood microwave, an Oreck vacuum cleaner, a check to the mattress company for a mattress and box springs and money to purchase a bed and end tables.

It was amazing.

God accomplished so much this weekend through his servants that it was hard for me to keep up with it all, but here were some of the other accomplishments:

Dawson house – plumbing installed underneath the house, windows framed in, sheetrock installed Bell house – trim finished (caulked and painted), master bathroom counter installed, crown moulding installed, caulked and trimmed, light fixtures installed, a/c vents installed, phone line
Barnhart house – trim installed (and caulked), broken pipe finished, phone line installed, attic door built and installed, upstairs room wired, vaulted ceiling painted
Hipps/O’Reilly house – entire downstairs and vaulted ceiling painted
Phyllis Smith house – a/c hooked up, final rooms painted, door casings installed, cabinets
Moss house – cabinets and trim varnished, bathroom tile grouted, bathrooms painted, cabinets
Diaz house – upstairs sheetrock taped, mudded, sanded, and mudded a second time,
windows donated
Charlie Acker house – sheetrock taped and mudded – first coat, plumbing finished and
toilet installed
Church – odd jobs completed, including organizing the materials store room

God was glorified that weekend. Hearts were blessed. Mine almost exploded watching God’s servants at work.

Thank you,
Jennifer Johnson
BRICK Layers (Believers Rebuilding In Christ's Kingdom) Huntsville, AL
REBUILDING brick at a time

04 January, 2006

Report Card - 2005

It is impossible to comprehend, in the comfort of our own homes, what it must be like to lose everything in a single day.

On Monday, August 29th, just after 10:00 a.m. local time, Hurricane Katrina made landfall, with the eastern eye wall directly over Pearlington, MS - sparing New Orleans the direct hit. Every home, building and vehicle in this town of 1700 was destroyed. If that wasn’t enough, a storm surge travelled 4.5 miles inland and drowned what little was left under 12 feet of the most toxic stew imaginable.

This site is dedicated to the First Responders and to all others who, in the remaining four months of the year, adopted Pearlington and made an enormous difference in the relief, recovery and now, the rebuilding, of this bayou town. Together, they stand as a model of cooperation, fellowship, courage and foresight and deserve to be recognized as a unique coalition of sovereign disaster relief agencies pulling together for the common good.

The First Outside Responders were: Paula Buhr, R.N., the Texas nurse who cajoled and helicoptered her way into Pearlington first, just a day or two after the storm; the Walton County, Fla. Public Works Dept., under the direction of Jeff McVay, who first took leadership in setting up the Recovery Center under unimaginable circumstances; George Bates and the Presbytery of Mississippi, Presbyterian Church, who were the first faith-based volunteers to reach Pearlington less than a week after Katrina. I, myself, reached Pearlington from Ontario, Canada on Sept. 12 and worked for two weeks, returning to manage the Recovery and Resource Center for the month of November. There were many others and as their stories reach me, I will post them here.

For many of us, our hope is to create an informal Coalition of Disaster Relief Agencies (CODRA) that will continue to work cooperatively in Pearlington and elsewhere; supporting, inspiring and assisting each other, regardless of our individual missions. In this unique manner and with the common good always as our focus, the non-governmental organizations (NGO’s) listed below will accomplish all our goals and establish a model that stands in counterpoint to the official, governmental response. Whether or not each group is a religious organization we are all, clearly, faith-based groups: that is, with faith in ourselves, each other and in The One who called us all to serve.

This, then, is what can be accomplished when ordinary citizens of the world choose to make a difference. As George Bates has said: “WORKING TOGETHER WORKS” and there is a great deal more to be done:


Water Missions International - George Greene IV, Co-founder: Pump Project:

Through individual and corporate donations organized by WMI, 400 pumps from Sta-Rite and Myers Pump companies, divisions of Pentair Corp., were received and installed in Pearlington between October 24th and first week of December. Of these, 394 were installed, six were defective.
Approximately 50 pump installation volunteers donated their time, energy and compassion to the residents of Pearlington, Waveland and Bay St. Louis and points in between. Charleston, SC Public Works and Mt. Pleasant, SC Public Works Depts. provided many professional pump installation people from their respective organizations for up to two week periods as well as pipe and pipe fittings to accomplish the task. Other volunteers were Bev and Ed Wentz who were the advance team that organized and executed the unprecedented pump program on October 18, 2005 and Michael Boyce (WMI employee) and Dick Johnson, a volunteer who took over from us when we left on November 13, 2005.

Without the vision of Water Missions International and early input from such individuals as Jake Earl, P.E. and Conrad Velasco, this program would not have gotten off the ground. These 394 pump systems had a total value of approx. $157,600. plus all of the many hundreds of hours of labour and other costs involved;

Carbondale, Co. Fire Department/Katrina Relief Fund:

▸ has cleared more than 400 lots of downed trees, deadfall and rubbish to allow for the placement of FEMA trailers;
▸ provided an ambulance, filled with valuable medications, to the free Clinic located at the Recovery & Resource Center;
▸ provided, through their “Red Ball Express” program, thousands of dollars in goods and material for the Pearl*Mart distribution Center;
▸ provided an outstanding Christmas party for the children of Pearlington;
▸ raised more than $86,000. in their efforts to assist the school, the town and the people of Pearlington.

Loving Neighbors - Moe Grzelakowski, Chair: a network of 13 church congregations in Hinsdale, Oak Brook and Clarendon Hills. IL has shipped to Pearlington alone:

▸ 260 Home Starter (Trailer) Kits (@ 500. ea. = $130,000.)
▸ 10 generators (@ $700 ea. = $7,000.)
▸ 1 washer dryer ($650.)
▸ 25 TV's ($100 ea. = $2,500.)

Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Mississippi - Greg Wolfe, Disaster Recovery Director:

Since we first came to Pearlington in October, 130 volunteers have come in 12 Mission teams from at least seven states to help in our ministry. These groups, from churches, campus ministry groups and families, have contributed over 2500 labor hours in Pearlington and surrounding areas.

These volunteers have worked on over 40 houses, including:
▸ emptied 4 houses of ruined belongings;
▸ emptied and gutted 17 houses;
▸ built 3 storage sheds;
▸ salvaged lumber from 3 houses;
▸ cleared downed trees from 3 yards;
▸ provided at least 39 Home Starter Kits for families moving into FEMA trailers;
▸ helped "Sheds for Jesus" group build several small storage/laundry sheds;
▸ helped the Pearl*Mart Distribution Center with stocking, organizing tasks;
▸ helped assemble and install well pumps for dozens of families;
▸ cleaned up the shelter, camping, and eating areas at the Pearlington Recovery Center;
▸ helped staff the free clinic;
▸ brought several truckloads of food, medical supplies, winter coats, blankets, Christmas toys, and other goods for the Pearl*Mart;
▸ done many other tasks as needed.

Presbytery of Mississippi, Presbyterian Church (USA) - George Bates, Disaster Recovery Coordinator:

We helped set up the shelter, the distribution center now affectionately known as Pearl-Mart, put in a water purification system, and delivered dozens of generators and chain saws. “We hope to have a volunteer camp located in the community up and running by January 1. We have access to heavy equipment.”

Sheds for Jesus and Conrad Katrina Aid - Conrad Velasco, Founder:

▸ constructed 122 sheds to provide storage (and in some cases, sleeping space) for the people of Pearlington;
▸ provided and installed 72 water pumps;
▸ provided and built “Holly’s Library.”

Dog Soldiers of Atlanta, GA (Men’s Division International) - Tim Goodnow:

▸ participated in the building of approx 35-36 sheds;
▸ removed trees and debris from approximately 15 homes;
▸ assisted homeowners in cleaning out 5 homes;
▸ delivered car-less residents to their homes, picked up medicine and delivered it to residents, picked up residents and brought them to the showers/medical clinic; delivered ice, food, clothing, set up tents in residents yards, gassed and oiled up generators and chain saws and delivered them to residents;
▸ handed out toys and stuffed animals to countless children;
▸ unloaded several trucks of supplies, food, clothing and toys at Pearl-Mart;
▸ set up the Distribution Center on September 11th;
▸ collected and delivered 350 school book bags for elementary age children;
▸ arranged for 19 misplaced geese to be moved from Gin Rd to Colonel Barnes Lake;
▸ delivered a man in need of surgery to Gulfport Memorial Hospital;
▸ mowed yards in preparation for FEMA trailers;
▸ hung the bulletin Boards on fence outside Pearl*Mart;
▸ assisted with the securing of many water pumps, and some installation of them;
▸ raised $14,750. With $5,000. spent on pumps and $4,800. spent on shed materials;
▸ with the Parkway Presbyterian Church, delivered 2 large U-haul trucks full of clothes, food, water, etc., along with a 40' bus full of items and willing spirits;
▸ the number of Dog Soldiers and associates that travelled to Mississippi is 50 strong with several hundred hours of volunteer time.

Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis - Char Ransom, Tom Eickhoff and others:

I was a part of the 20 volunteers in Pearlington. Ten of our number stayed and worked in shelters in Baton Rouge, but did join us for two days before we had to leave. The other ten spent the greater share of 2 weeks in Pearlington. The majority of our time was spent organizing and serving in the Distribution Center. Our guys bought lumber and made shelves so that organization would be more efficient. They also made racks for the clothing. We were well under way to getting things organized, when Hurricane Rita forced us to leave. Some of the guys went into the neighborhood and helped remove trees from yards and junk from homes.

Doug & Donna Case and Andrea & Terry Parrish and other Juneau Co. WI businesses have donated goods and materials in excess of $5,000.

“As a result of our fundraising efforts in Juneau County Wisconsin we were able to fill the pickup truck with can goods and other supplies and with money left over. After delivering to Pearl*Mart mid-November we drove to Hattiesburg and purchased more items from your most wanted list and delivered the next day. After seeing first hand the conditions in Pearlington we vowed to raise more money. When we returned to Wisconsin with photos to show people, we gathered another $250. within a few days. We have family that live in Hattiesburg and we sent them the money. They purchased fresh fruit, milk and meat and delivered it just before Thanksgiving.”

● Dream School International - Jon S. White, Founder:

▸ created, and Nancy Semple delivered, 36 “Hope Chests” to children and their families in Pearlington;
▸ provided counselling, support and resources for many people in the community suffering from the manifestations of Post Traumatic Stress;
▸ provided management of the Pearl*Mart (Sept.) and of the Recovery & Resource Center (Nov.)
▸ created a web log (blog) for Pearlington and consistently posted a current Needs List;
▸ advocated on behalf of the citizens of Pearlington.


● Nancy Semple, Ontario, Canada:

▸ created and delivered Hope Chests to 36 families
▸ raised $3,500. through Rotary and $2,000. through DSI
▸ assisted in Pearl*Mart and in the field

● Eileen Powers, Ontario, Canada:

▸ shed building - 17 hours
▸ Resource Survey - 20 hours
▸ water tank assembly - 60 hours
▸ mucking out houses - 7 hours
▸ participated in the building of “Holly’s Library”

● Leslie H. - Binghamton, NY:

▸ got the Bay St. Louis PO to deliver relief boxes to Pearlington's Elementary school on a weekly basis;
▸ have found about a half dozen teams to make the trip down to Pearlington to help with the building of the transitional homes; one team is bringing approx $40,000. in donations (so far) with $3,000. in tools (coming in March);
▸ have spoken to +/- a dozen schools and convinced them to send their fund raising efforts to Habitat International earmarked for Hancock County - totals in the range of $20,000.
▸ helped locate grants for New Hope Construction, Walton County Habitat, Center for Prevention of Child Abuse and the Humane Society of South MS.;
▸ established a blog to help those who can't/won't go to assist directly - to assist indirectly with very simple and relatively low cost, painless ways to make a huge difference;
▸ my sister and I have made and sent 2 dozen t-shirts for the Hancock County School's cooking staff - who lost everything;
▸ located possible housing for the Center For The Prevention of Child Abuse.

● Dr. Ellyn Shander, MD, Psychiatrist:

I worked the Thanksgiving holiday weekend at the clinic. I brought about $500. dollars worth of medicines on that trip.