Students' nickles, dimes add up for coast facilities


Rebecca Lasoski
The Advocate

Some might think monetary aid for recovery along the Mississippi Gulf Coast can only come in the millions of dollars. 

Connie Carnes and her senior AP English classes  prove otherwise. 

Carnes, a member of Kosciusko First United Methodist Church, heard about Bishop Hope Morgan Ward’s fund raising campaign seeking 100 people to give $100 to purchase beds for volunteers last Fall. Under Carnes’ leadership, the students raised $301.35 in spare change. 

“The donation was brought into the office in the form of pennies, nickels, dimes and a few dollar bills; it was a great sight,” says James Salter, pastor at Kosciusko First UMC. 

Salter, whose son is a student in Carnes’ class, said that the students asked for spare change on a daily basis to raise the funds, storing the money in a can until bringing in the final amount to the church. 

The total collected for the “bucks for bunks” appeal by Carnes’ students and individuals and churches throughout Mississippi came to $16,169.68.  

The funds will go toward the purchase of mattresses for camps that provide lodging for volunteers. Robert Sharp, coordinator of the Mississippi United Methodist Katrina Response, reports that the construction of three camps is continuing. 

Camp Hope in Vancleave is 90 percent complete and can sleep a total of 86 volunteers. In two weeks, all Sheetrock and outlets should be installed and we will be waiting for the final building inspection,” said Sharp. 

“The foundation for the camp at Nugent is underway and in eight weeks everything but the interior should be finished,” Sharp said. The third camp will be used primarily as a training facility and storage center for recovery materials and other needs related with rebuilding the Gulf Coast area. A location for that camp is being sought in Hancock County.  

Donations to help complete the facilities can be sent to the Mississippi Conference treasurer’s office.