By Beth Dean, Mississippi United Methodist
Disaster Recovery Inc.
Hurricane Katrina made landfall on August 29, 2005 as a category five hurricane, reportedly making it the fourth most powerful hurricane of all time. Most people were not prepared for a
|Beth Dean (green shirt) is seen making a delivery of supplies.|
Mississippi United Methodist Disaster Recovery, Inc., an UMCOR affiliate, was born out of Hurricane Katrina with a vision to "help heal hearts and homes" by returning people to safe, sanitary and secure environments. The organization works with homeowners whose needs are not met by other funding sources, such as insurance, grants, Small BusinessAdministration (SBA) loans and meet theestablished qualifications.
|These volunteers represent thousands helping with recovery and relief.|
All the work is volunteer-driven. Without the help of volunteers, the Mississippi coast would
not be as far along in the recovery process.
Since its inception, the organization has changed and downsized from the six original volunteer camps
|Volunteers tarp storm-damaged home.
to one central camp (Camp Love) located in Gulfport, Mississippi. Camp Love continues to house and feed volunteers and serve Hancock, Harrison and Jackson counties. However, when necessary, the camp assists in other ways such as delivering UMCOR supplies to the affected areas following the Hattiesburg tornado in February 2013. The remaining staff is dedicated to continuing the work that was begun and have also expanded the focus of their mission to include the many homeowners who need assistance with repairs in an effort to help lessen future damage from storms, but do not have the necessary resources. Mississippi United Methodist Disaster Recovery, Inc. has become an outreach of hope for the least, the last, the lost and the forgotten. The volunteers have come to serve and to be a blessing to others. They never expected to be so richly blessed. In return, they would leave behind their hearts and revisit year after year, renewing old friendships and making new ones. Without them, homeowners would still be waiting for help and sadly that is the case for some.
|One volunteer donates time to dry wall a home.|