Call center volunteers help match victims, work teams

7/31/2007

Nominees: Mary Parten, Joan Clay, June Watsen, Annie (Gladys) Bohannon, Joyce Hyatt and Peggy Lewis 

Hometown: Meridian 

In September 2005, the Mississippi Conference recognized the need to set up a disaster response center to handle the hundreds of phone calls and e-mails offering help to the Mississippi Gulf Coast area affected by Hurricane Katrina. In order to make this happen, the conference established a call center in the Meridian District office. 

All the center needed to begin operations was a staff to work the phones, answer questions and help connect those who wanted to help with those who needed the help. Many persons from the Meridian area volunteered their time and gifts to help in the effort, and the Call Center was established.  

Volunteers from around the country, as well as from the Meridian area, came to help. People gave long hours to help neighbors who were hurting across the coast and various parts of the state. All of these volunteers are heroes, but a handful stand out. 

Mary Parten, Joan Clay, June Watsen, Annie (Gladys) Bohannon, Joyce Hyatt and Peggy Lewis answered the request for help to man the call center. Two years later they continue to come into the center faithfully to answer phones and help schedule volunteers.

Each week the women meet the commitment, without pay or even recognition, simply glad to do their part to help those impacted and continuing to suffer due to Katrina.