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UMCOR Bright Spots

IN TODAY’S ISSUE
July 19, 2007

Red Arrow-giftChuck Truck” Moves to Mississippi to Continue Ministry
Red Arrow-giftIn Bay St. Louis: Many Hands Help Change Speed of Recovery
Red Arrow-gift This Week's Quote
Red Arrow-giftRecovery Stats
Red Arrow-giftVolunteer T-Shirts… (Slide Show)

“CHUCK TRUCK” MOVES TO MISSISSIPPI TO CONTINUE MINISTRY

By Susan J. Meister, Gulf Coast Communications

After Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, Chuck Hazelton and others from Urbana United Methodist Church (Ohio) delivered donated supplies to UMCOR Sager Brown Depot in Baldwin, La. The Depot staff asked the Ohioans to make some deliveries in the devastated area with their trailers, and Chuck started to drive a newly donated truck.

 Camp Hope Warehouse Manager Sam Craft accepts key to the “Chuck Truck” from Freddie Cooks, Warehouse Manager at UMCOR Sager Brown, Baldwin, La. Photo courtesy UMCOR Sager Brown

Camp Hope Warehouse Manager Sam Craft accepts key to the “Chuck Truck” from Freddie Cooks, Warehouse Manager at UMCOR Sager Brown, Baldwin, La.
Photo courtesy UMCOR Sager Brown

Then, as he puts it, “I had some free time, the beds were soft, and the food was good, so I decided to stay.”

The first stay was for two weeks. After Hurricane Rita tore through the region in September 2005, Chuck, his wife Jo, and Yorkie Mollie hit the road in their motor home to head back to La. to drive “the Chuck Truck,” as he calls it, for the next five weeks.

They were busy. “Most days, we would make deliveries to two or three centers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama,” he said. “Depot staff would load the truck at night and we would leave at 6 a.m. Our average day was 14 or 15 hours.”

Bill Dudleson, UMCOR Sager Brown Program Manager, estimates that the Chuck Truck made hundreds of deliveries during the response. One of the persons on the receiving end was Sam Craft, who is now the Warehouse Manager at Camp Hope, Miss., a new multi-purpose building in Vancleve that hosts disaster teams and houses supplies.

Camp Hope, Vancleve, Miss., houses volunteers and stores building supplies.

Camp Hope, Vancleve, Miss., houses volunteers and stores building supplies.
Susan Meister/UMCOR

Craft explained that Dudleson called him recently to see if he was interested in a truck, since UMCOR Sager Brown will probably lease trucks if they are needed in the future.

“We’re into recovery now,” Craft said, “and we’ll be using the truck to move material.”

And yes, Sam has met Chuck a couple of times. The name on the key ring of the truck in Mississippi still says “Chuck Truck.”

UMCOR Sager Brown provides relief supplies to survivors of disasters in the US and around the world. Learn more about the Depot, volunteer to help, or find lists of relief kit contents at their web site. UMCOR stations in Louisiana and Mississippi are assisting in the long term recovery efforts on the Gulf Coast.

For more on the United Methodist recovery work visit these web sites:
UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief)
UM News Service
Mississippi Conference
Louisiana Conference
Texas Conference
Alabama-West Florida Conference