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UMCOR Bright Spots

September 13, 2007

Red Arrow-giftRebuilding Along Mississippi Gulf Coast A Slow Process
Red Arrow-giftLouisiana Stations Participate in Area Long Term Recovery Organizations
Red Arrow-giftThis Week's Quote
Red Arrow-giftRecovery Stats
Red Arrow-giftVolunteers in Slidell Took Care…(Slide Show)


By Susan J. Meister, Gulf Coast Communications

Miss Rose and Mr. Tony love to sit outside on the ramp of their trailer on their property in Ocean Springs Mississippi, where they can chat with neighbors and watch the progress on their home being rebuilt at the rear of their lot. As the sun gets higher in the sky, they move up the ramp to stay in the shade. Their two poodles, Peaches and Tux, eagerly greet anyone who stops by.

Miss Rose remembers her mother’s advice: “If you can see the sun rise, it’s going to be a good day.”

Miss Rose and Mr. Tony love to sit on the ramp to their trailer and chat with anyone who stops by.

Miss Rose and Mr. Tony love to sit on the ramp to their trailer and chat with anyone who stops by.
Susan J. Meister/UMCOR

Although Ocean Springs is 75 miles east of where Hurricane Katrina made landfall, the damage from the wind and water of the storm is still painfully evident, even two years later. A tornado spawned by Katrina damaged the couple’s home so severely that it could not be repaired. Their new home is one of twelve to be completely rebuilt with the help of a number of groups coordinated by the Eastern Region of Mississippi United Methodist Katrina Response, through the Long Term Recovery Committee, Rebuild Jackson County.

Many groups participate in the rebuilding effort

Case manager Vicki White explains that through this coordination, a number of groups have helped with both funding for materials and labor for the rebuild. They include the Gulf Coast Community Foundation (paid for the slab), Samaritan’s Purse (lumber), Lutheran Episcopal Disaster Response (lumber, tub), The Salvation Army (appliances), American Red Cross (furniture, cabinets), and Christian Aid Ministries (labor for framing and roofing the home).

“We have met so many wonderful people,” Miss Rose exclaimed. “In just 22 minutes one day, the sheetrock and insulation got unloaded from the truck! Those people didn’t take any breaks at all!”

The couple was in Texas when the storm hit and heard about the damage. But like many others it wasn’t until they got here that it really hit them. “My eyes just welled up when I drove down Route 90,” Miss Rose said. “All those old houses gone, those old cemeteries gone…”

Robert Sharp, Coordinator, Mississippi United Methodist Katrina Recovery.

Mr. Tony anxiously awaits the next steps in the rebuilding process.
Susan J. Meister/UMCOR

Miss Rose faces many health challenges and admits to being depressed sometimes. She really enjoys talking to her neighbors, the volunteers and any visitors who come by. “I try to remember that Jesus cares no matter what condition you’re in,” she sighed.

Although it took 21 months from the storm for the slab to be poured, Christian Aid Ministries put up the walls and roof in just four and a half days. Now the time seems to go by slowly while the couple waits for insulation, plumbing and electricity to be installed.

In the meantime, Miss Rose enjoys hearing from volunteers who’ve worked on her home. She shed some tears that morning when the mail arrived with a $200 gift card and an inspirational note from a new friend.

To help families in Ocean Springs, Mississippi and other places along the Gulf Coast rebuild from the wind and water of Hurricane Katrina, contact the Mississippi United Methodist Katrina Response.

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