On the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina Linda Boswell recalled a time we gave our best during the period from 2005 through 2009.
Katrina made landfall on August 29, 2005. Based upon the rescue phase of response, it was predicted that it would take ten (10) years for recovery. And more!
CUC and RUMC people were in motion within days. We spent Labor Day in the Fellowship Hall sorting new donated clothes. We sorted, packed, and met someone from Jackson, MS half-way who then had the clothes to the Mississippi coast the next day. We received a second donation of clothes. We had forty-seven (47) boxes to be shipped to Mississippi. UPS shipped the boxes at no cost, but the shipment was lost as Hurricane Rita came ashore in late September. UPS was most generous to pay $7500 for the lost shipment, and that money was used to buy baby food and diapers which were desperately needed.
Soon there were about 100,000 refugees who made their way to Atlanta. Several couples from CUC “adopted” families and helped them find housing, furnishings, and jobs.
We made Health Kits by the hundreds that were shipped to Sager Brown UMCOR in Baldwin, LA for distribution.We went to the North Georgia Disaster Response center to sort and pack supplies—especially “Flood Buckets” with cleaning supplies to send to Sager Brown.
We partnered with Lawson Trucking in Montgomery AL to have supplies picked up and delivered from wherever the items were located to wherever they needed to be sent. Mr. Charlie not only provided trucks, but made a large donation to fund the RUMC efforts.
We were trained in Disaster Response along with dozens of people from all over North Georgia.
Rick Page and others bought and equipped a trailer with tools and supplies so that we would have the right materials to help people rebuild. We shipped two truckloads of sheet rock partnering with Christ UMC in Jackson, MS.
After Thanksgiving, a large group of CUC’ers went to the Sager Brown Center in Louisiana to work sorting supplies, delivering food to people in New Orleans area, and helping in the local community.
By January, we needed a partner on the Mississippi coast so that we could send teams to help rebuild. Roger Davis, Jim Boswell, and Rick Page made the trip, researched the locations, and connected RUMC with Caswell Springs UMC in Moss Point, MS. They provided housing and food in their new building along with UMCOR work coordinators to guide us.We made friends that we’ll never forget. Rev. H. W. Parker came to Roswell several times to participate in our Global Impact Celebration.
The first year, we sent about 30 teams. CUC members and other RUMC groups had to learn to hang sheet rock, mud and paint, carpenter skills, plumbing, and wiring. And, we were very good with hugs and listening ears (not to mention Mexican Train skills!) We made a difference!