Friday, September 08, 2006

Story of a Volunteer Who Moved to Waveland

Illinois Woman Dedicates Her Life to Helping Katrina Victims

Aug 29, 2006 07:02 PM CDT

Hurricane Katrina destroyed homes and tore apart live. One year later, the road to recover is still a long one.More than 35 thousand volunteers from a round the nation came to the coast's aid after the storm. In Waveland , Mississippi you'll find a volunteer from Illinois who has dedicated her life to helping Katrina victims.After seeing pictures of what the deadly hurricane did to Mississippi Johnson was convinced she had to go to the coast.
"I saw there was a compelling need to assist," said Johnson.
She loaded up her truck with supplies and headed to Mississippi .
"I was overwhelmed. People didn't know what to do," said Johnson.
She only planned to stay for two weeks, but that planed changed quickly. She went back home to Illinois packed up her possessions and moved to Waveland , Mississippi .
"I am a carpenter by trade. I have something that is gravely needed here. That is a skill," said Johnson.
She now works free of charge as a volunteer coordinator. She helped complete strangers rebuild their homes. Folks like Earl Booth.
"She's in the field breaking her back helping us renew our lives," said Booth.
She helped the Booth's rebuild their home piece by piece. "I thought about tearing it down. She said we can make something cute. I laughed but she was right," said Booth.
Johnson said through her work, she wants to help people.
"I found this quote in New Orleans . It said 'sorry looks back, worry looks around, and faith looks forward.' This house was built on faith," said Johnson.
Johnson estimates she's helped 500 people get back in their homes. She says that's only a small number of the people who need help.
She expects to remain in Waveland, at least for another two years.

Reporter: Sally Pitts

City Action Partnership

3/1 - This post will be removed in by April 1 (no joke). Please reset your bookmarks to the following link instead:

Ooo - been awhile. 3/1 Update on their webpage!
HOLIDAY COLLECTION CAMPAIGN: We will be collecting food (canned meat, veggies and fruit, and grains) to send to the Angie Free Clinic in LA for the holidays. (see below for more info). These boxes will go to the elderly.
We will also be collecting Children's & Teen's underwear for Metairie, LA and to support our CAP officer, Bobby Jernigan, who is in Africa. Bobby's unit has adopted a children's orphanage and asked if we could help. LET'S SHOW HIM WE ARE BEHIND HIM!
9 pallets were sent down to Waveland via the "Ghost". 3-1/2 pallets of pet food collected by Ashley Robbins (yeah Ashley!!), 2 pallets of Tupperware containers, 1 pallet of baby formula, 1-1/2 pallets of new flip flops, 1 stove and fan donated by Linda and Roger James. SPRINGER EQUIPMENT really came to our rescue with very short notice and provided a forklift (see picture below). They are this month's heroes!
Five boxes of test strips were shipped out to Common Ground, NOLA; St. Andrews Family Community Center, McComb, MS; Excelth Family Health Center, NOLA; and Algiers Health Clinic, NOLA.
BAYER CO. shipped supplies for another 500 diabetic kits and volunteers from HandsOnBirmingham and Americorps Corps put together half of the them and the AWARE Club of Vestavia High School came and finished the job! Thank yall so much!
Dr. Webster from Mobile picked up 99 kits for the Ozanam Charitable Pharmacy in Mobile. We are working on transport for the rest (10 clinics have requested kits at this time). Thanks Doc!
Becky picked up 3 car loads of baby formula from the Post Office and has them pretty much ready to ship. UAB delievered another van full of supplies. Go UAB!!! Thanks so much.
Big thanks to John for cleaning up the warehouse.
Jefferson Community Clinic asked for help and I am happy to report a bevy of activity from the urgent call email sent out on their behalf. Here's what happened.
* Ozanam Charitable Pharmacy didn't have requested meds, but is inventorying what they have that they can share. Preliminary list was put out in an email sent to all registered users of the Relief Database.
*MS Univ. Medical Center offered Albuterol and some other meds.
*HANDS offered to pick up the meds and ship them directly to Jefferson Clinic. HANDS also delivered meds to several other clinics from what they picked up from MS Univ. Med. Center.
*Direct Relief International contacted us to offer beta blockers. This was a new contact for us. Guess that means their grapevine is working pretty good. :-)
*The good folks at Loudoun Group in Virginia are sending 4 boxes of supplies too!
Direct Relief notified us of a clinic they were unable to help as they did not yet have their 501c3 status. This little community clinic is really struggling to keep open. We have been putting together some supplies we got from UAB for them, got them on the database and best of all, were able to direct the remaining supplies at the Pass Christian Clinic (which closed last month) to them. This little community is about 30 miles south of Tylertown, MS and hasn't gotten much help. This is where the food boxes will go for the holidays.
11/3 Med Relief Update
Dear Friends and Volunteers:

We just got in a load of diabetic supplies and need help making the kits. Please give us a call if you would like to come down to the warehouse for an hour or two. We are happy to work with groups of kids as well (as long as you provide some help with supervision). :-)

Check out the October UPDATE (with pictures) if you haven't already at

Here's a little update of what went on with the clinics in the gulf after a recent call for some help with beta blockers (heart meds) and inhalers:

I am happy to report a bevy of activity from the urgent call email sent out on behalf of Jefferson Community Healthcare Clinic. Here's what happened.
* Ozanam Charitable Pharmacy didn't have requested meds, but is inventorying what they have that they can share. Preliminary list was put out in an email sent to all registered users of the Relief Database. If you did not get that email, please get in touch with me so I can walk you through getting registered and get the info to you. You can register without even having a facility record.
*MS Univ. Medical Center offered Albuterol and some other meds (list was included in above referenced email).
*HANDS offered to pick up the meds and ship them directly to Jefferson Clinic.
*Direct Relief International contacted us to offer beta blockers. This was a new contact for us. Guess that means their grapevine is working pretty good. :-)
*The good folks at Loudoun Group in Virginia are sending 4 boxes of supplies too!

Thank you for your support!
10/24 Exerpts from the Update on their website
My sincerest thanks to you all!! In addition to being able to send out four packages, Janet Raines and I (both FOOTMAD dancers) made a trip to Waveland and New Orleans. Here is what we did.
Waveland, MS—Kathleen Johnson hosted a workshop and I presented my first power point presentation on how to use the Citizen Action Team (CAT) Relief Database to about 6 guinea pigs. Representatives from clinics, Salvation Army, and churches were present and appreciative! We spent the night at a church volunteer camp.
BTW- the van broke down about 20 minutes outside of Waveland. Janet stayed with the van to wait for AAA (what a great travel partner she turned out to be!) and I got a ride from a nice man who went way out of his way to drop me off at city hall in Waveland. The next day, Betty who works at City Hall woke her son and asked for the keys to his Yukon so we could continue on to NOLA as planned. “You’re giving my car to complete strangers --to go to New Orleans-- overnight!” he exclaimed. Her reply, “they aren’t strangers, they’re volunteers” and off we went.
We spent another night in Waveland and basically killed time waiting for the van to be fixed at Wavefest. Oh yeah, I borrowed another vehicle to take a volunteer to the airport in Gulfport and ran out of gas on I-10 (my bad- I was told to get gas, but forgot). No worries, it was a truck and had a gas can in the back with enough to get me to the next exit.
Kits (24) were left in Waveland for St. Andrews Mission Clinic in McComb, MS to pick up and 2 small boxes of med. Supplies and (18) kits were left for Volunteers of America clinic in Gulfport.
The van’s transmission died the day after we got back from our trip. We will try to sell it to get back the money we put into it in Waveland. It was a wonderful tool for us-- hauling stuff to and from the warehouse and made several trips to the coast with supplies.
Thank you again, Frank Waddell of Charleston, SC, for this kind donation!

From Kathleen Johnson
There were 9 pallets delivered via the ghost to Waveland from CAPS in Birmingham. I had them unloaded at Home Depot as I could not find another forklift in town at that hour. What a shame that I had to browse the tool section prior to the semi arriving. *G* Dog food, cat food (probably intended for Suzie Polard), new flip flops, light fixtures, glassware, and I am totally unsure of what is in the rest. But it is packed and wrapped securely on pallets.I need to get it picked up tomorrow - I told them 9.30am or so when I get out of the radio station. I will get it loaded onto the blue trailer and up to you sometime tomorrow.
Just another wild day in Hancock County *G

When Hurricane Katrina hit the coast, CAP (City Action Partnership) mobilized to coordinate donations for evacuees at the Civic Center. With the tremendous outpouring from the Birmingham community, CAP began coordinating shipments to the coastal areas. We continue to be a link between the Birmingham Community and the coastal relief effort and have become part of the nationwide grassroots relief effort.

Thanks to the generous donations and volunteers in our community, we've been able to make a difference to many people who have lost so much. However, trips to the coastal areas have shown us that because of the enormity of the affected area, progress has been very slow along the coast. At this time, we will take any kind of household item as long as it is in good shape and working order so keep us in mind when you redo something in your house. For instance, we recently shipped to Waveland three used toilets! Windows and doors seem to be big on the wish lists as well.

We are collecting to ship:
Rolaids or Tums (please buy the rolls)
Sun Screen
Bug SprayAnti-biotic ointment
Bottled water (see May Update)
Cat and Dog food
Pet Flea Control Products
Ocean Spray Saline Nose Spray (Urgent request from Vol. of America Free Clinic)
Spanish/English Dictionary (Urgent request from Vol. of America Free Clinic)

What’s needed at the CAP Warehouse:
Hand Truck
Large rolls of packing tape
Bottled water for workers
Money for shipping and gas
Tax deductible contributions can be made to:
c/o City Action Partnership
1801Third Ave.
N.Birmingham, AL 35203

Tax deductible contributions can be made to:
c/o City Action Partnership
1801Third Ave.
N.Birmingham, AL 35203

If you want to volunteer
Call Laura 205-288-1317

We are looking for:
Volunteers to put diabetic test supplies into kits for shipping.
Volunteers who are heading to the Gulf (even if you only have room for 1 box) and can take supplies down.
Volunteers with computer internet access and unlimited long distance who can help keep in contact with Medical Clinics we are serving on the coast.
Volunteers who would like to head up a project.
Volunteer Doctors and Nurses: We are compiling a list of doctors and nurse practitioners who might be available to work in a clinic in a disaster area on very short notice. I can guarantee you that this is a most rewarding experience. Please email if you would like to be on this list.
We are in touch with MANY organizations and people working in disaster relief. If you would like to volunteer on the Gulf please feel free to contact us.
We are most grateful to the many volunteers who have helped us accomplish so much! Please visit our “Community Support” page.
A special thanks to Becky Davis (aka “Grandma”) and her friends for keeping the warehouse going all this time!

CAP Hurricane Relief Update - September 3, 2006

Wow, things are really zooming along here. Andre Natta from Main Street Birmingham did something really unique. He threw himself a birthday party and asked his guests to donate to CAP's hurricane relief effort. He looked on our web site and gave his guests a list of items we were asking for. It was a very successful and fun party! We got only items we asked for AND $200.00!!! Imagine how excited we were! Most of this will be spent responding to urgent pleas for medical supplies.
I'd like to raise the bar here. What if everyone who has a birthday in Sept. did the same thing? Maybe we could get a radio (would like someone to suggest a station) to announce those participating. Here's why. Remember long-term volunteer Kathleen Johnson? We sent her a laptop computer, an air conditioner and 3 toilets and a lawnmower for the city. She has helped over 500 people get back into their homes and now she has access to a warehouse! Free Haul in Arizona can get us a load of culled lumber (approx. $40,000 worth of wood) for shipping costs--approximately $2400 last time I checked. Kathleen has salvaged everything she possibly can to come up with lumber to help the very poor and elderly in Waveland and I'd sure like to send her a load of wood. I also think if we can pull this off, other community's will do it to and we can finally start moving the loads of lumber that have been just waiting for shipping around the country.
HOW ABOUT IT BIRMINGHAM?! Let me hear from you!

You can see Kathleen on a piece that Channel 12 in Montgomery did on the link below. In case the time on the link has run out, I have included the article from the story at the bottom of this email.

Other news: We get to take something off of our list!! Jeff, a member of Mt. Top Community Church has donated a cell phone and monthly plan to Becky, our volunteer warehouse manager. Thanks Jeff!!
Dr. Wally Retan brought in some sample meds in response to an urgent call from the free clinic in D'Iberville. Way to go doc!
Mike McCormick brought over 1500 flip flops from his mission group and the our friend Leslie with Citizen Action Team Database is finding out where to send them. Becky and Birmingham 's homeless have been boxing them up for us.:-)
Last Thursday's Birmingham Weekly had a great article on us (page 21).
If you haven't explored our new web site, ya gotta see it. It's loaded with information on Hurricane Relief activities and CAP services (including the Hand to Hand Resource Guide for the Homeless). Jimsey with Magic City Moments really did a great job.
Thanks for all of your support!

Laura Katz Parenteau
Admin. Assist./Disaster Relief Coord.
City Action Partnership (CAP)
1801 Third Ave. North Birmingham, AL 35203
205-251-0111 office

Labels: , , , , ,

Web Site Hit Counter
1-800-Flowers Coupon