Wednesday, February 14, 2007

If you and your church or group plan mission trips, consider coming to help us in the Katrina Zone.

We've made progress with getting some people back into their homes but many are stuck in FEMA trailer waiting for govt. or insurance grants.

People with more money live in the few apartments or rental homes which survived.

The roads are clear but debris remains.

People have tapped out their resources. The insurance companies balk. The govt. grants are slow, even after all this time.

We need so much more help. Volunteers keep coming but we need more.

I guess people think we are back to normal now.

Not. So.


St. Casserole


Presbyterian Gal said...

I'm going to refer your blog to our Outreach pastor, Jim Milley.

Prayers going up for your efforts.

St. Casserole said...

The devastated areas are so vast that it is difficult to imagine unless you've seen it.

We aren't lazy or slow. The area is so huge and our losses are, too.

Songbird said...

Of course you aren't slow, and y'all continue to be impeded by the inaction and the retarding actions of the very principalities we all expect will help us in the event of a disaster.
No matter how many times I tell the stories of my visit there, I know I am only giving a sliver of the reality because my shock is from the outside, not the inside.
(((st. c)))

kairos said...

Our youth are coming down to a suburb of New Orleans first week in June. We scheduled for this year knowing that relieve would be needed and that attention would be waning....

We're looking forward to it.

maggiej said...

My youth group is hoping to have its first ever mission trip. It may be very small (two or three) and we would like to work there. Is PDA working there? How do I get information? Thanks

Teri said...

16 of our youth (and 4 adults) are coming to New Orleans in July. We couldn't go to the PDA camp because they said everyone had to be 18. So we're using PassPort. The N.O. camps are full for July, and there are waiting lists....we'll do the best we can! I'm trying to encourage the "prime timers" (retired folks who are still really active) to take a trip. We'll see.
Oh, how I wish this was over for you all!

Presbyterian Gal said...

P.S. St. Casserole....

I may not be able to come in person to help, but do folks there need stuff? I have corners filled with outgrown boy clothes in size 7-8, as well as old curtains I'm never going to use again, but kept cause they're pretty. And other things.I can send stuff. That's easy. If it'll help, let me know where and I'll box it up. In fact, if you give me a wish list, I'll organize a West Coast Stuff posse for you.

Brittany said...

My group is going to Pearlington for the 3rd time in June...and we'll keep coming for as long as we're needed. Don't give up hope!

MaggieJ--the PDA camps won't house anyone under the age of 18 at this time. My group has had great luck working in Pearlington, MS with the Pearlington Recovery Center (just do a search for them on the web) and YouthWorks has trips set up in the Gulf Coast over the summer. They do a lot of the foot work for you.

We're coming St. Casserole!

Purechristianithink said...

My Presbytery has a group in Louisiana this week which two members of my church are part of. Our youth group is going in April, but to Baton Rougue because of the age restrictions for PDA.

Iris said...

Our church has sent two work groups and is gearing up for a third. I hope I get to go this time. We are committted for the long haul. Our youth are having a Mardi Gras themed chili cook-off this Sunday to raise money for Triennium and have decided (on their own!)to tithe on their proceeds to Katrina relief.

Thanks for this post. Keep the need ever in our minds.

David said...

I don't want to speak for St. C, but our experience is please do not send stuff. The problem is there is just no place to store things. People have clothes, just they are all living in cramped quarters and more-unsafe-all-the-time FEMA trailer parks (why does FEMA pay for security in trailer parks in Louisisana and not in Mississippi?).
Another option for volunteers is Camp Coast Care in my town of Long Beach. . An offshoot is Mission On the Bay in Bay St. Louis which can accomodate youth groups (but their slots are filling up). You can get more info for both on the website above.
As I travel the country talking to people about our situation, I find that so many think we are all ok. As the sainted one said - that's way not the truth.
Please come...we need you.
David Knight
St. Patricks Episcopal
Long Beach, MS

St. Casserole said...

Thank you! Thank you!

Thanks to all who've come or are coming!

PDA camps have a 16 or 18 year old age limit. It's not safe for younger teens to work construction or clean-up. Turning younger kids away isn't being mean, it's just protecting them.

David! Great to hear from you! Let's drink coffee soon, ok?

As David said, we use stuff like clothing because we have no place for storing it. If you know individuals down here or churches, gift cards are great.

I wish every church (or organization) would commit to rebuilding one home each. I keep hoping our disaster commission will suggest this to people who want to help. Then, churches can get to know families personally.

Thank you! TY!

St. Casserole said...

I MEANT WE CAN'T USE STUFF LIKE CLOTHING. Got too excited and didn't proof my comment.

Presbyterian Gal said...

OK. No stuff. The rebuild one home each idea sounds great. How do we do this? Is it through Habitat for Humanity? Is it just donations? What could our California church do to help this? Can I work up some budget numbers or a proposal for you?

maggiej said...

Should I contact PDA directly? I understand about age limits. Used to work for Habitat. In fact, part of my job was to tell local affiliates that they had to abide by age limits. (There are sometimes state laws that limit the age of children who can be on construction sites.)

Iris said...

Last Summer, our youth wanted to be in involved in some hands-on hurricane relief effort, but most were too young to go to New Orleans. So, we went to Beaumont, TX and worked on houses hit by Rita. Although the Rita affected area isn't nearly as bad as what was left in Katrina's wake, they still do have need. It was a great opportunity for our kids. We connected with St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in Beaumont and I know that the Methodists have a strong presence there as well.