FOX News Channel highlights the heroic efforts of those who've helped others escape, tirelessly donated their time, or opened their home to those in need.
If you've witnessed the actions of a hero, e-mail us at email@example.com.
Here are a few e-mails from your fellow FOX Fans:
My father is a retired foreman for a power company. He and a friend from his church are both retired, and are in good health. They found no reason not to go and help in South Mississippi. They arrived in Biloxi and were given the necessary certification needed to assist. They are assisting in restoring power to those that have something left to work with, and are doing any odd job needed by those left devastated by Katrina. It has angered me several times to turn on the news only to hear the ‘blame game’ taking place. I believe that each of those politicians who are standing around blaming the president should go and help at least ten people personally. If you were going into these rural areas with my dad, and unselfishly helping others, there would be no time to stand around blaming others for this tragedy. My dad called today with some amazing stories. He has already helped so many, and have made friends with these people. He plans to go and stay two weeks at a time, only going home on weekends so that my Mom can wash his clothes for him to go back again. We asked him today how long he planned to stay. He told us as long as he was needed. I am fortunate to have a dad like mine who isn't standing around talking, but is in the trenches. This will be something for my children to share with their children in the years to come.
— Angela (Tuscumbia, AL)
I was in my front yard starting the cleaning process of six feet of debris completely over my front and both sides of my yard. After shoveling for two hours this guy comes by in a pickup and asks if I need help. I told him there was a refrigerator up against my house that was starting to smell bad (It was there for two weeks). He said he’d get right on it. He left, and the next thing I saw was five trucks and a backhoe coming down my street and 30 guys jumped out and pulled two cars, a boat, a freezer, and a refrigerator out of my yard. They all spent the next two hours shoving all the debris to the road and raking my yard and cutting all the branches in my yard. After finishing I asked the guy what I owed him and all he said was, “I’m sorry we didn’t get here sooner,” and never asked for any payment. My wife and I call all them our ANGELS! One man left me his business card and it stated they were from Alpharetta, Georgia. They also didn’t stop there. I bet they did at least 20 other yards that day on my street. God bless all of them!!
— Ron (Ocean Springs, MS)
The heroes that I know of are the power company linemen from several states. From our hometown of Clifton, Texas we have four men that traveled 14 days ago to Gulfport, Mississippi to give a helping hand and are still there. They have taken time from their families and loved ones to sleep outside, barely get showers, eat whatever is available, sleep very little, work up to 18 hours a day in dangerous conditions and on hot lines, plus give whatever little they have to the locals. I believe all the men/women that went to help should be given a hand.
I just thought I would tell you about two young ladies that I consider heroes. My niece Kayla and her friend from their cheerleading squad, in Statesville, NC, decided they wanted to do something for Katrina Victims. Due to limited funds of their own they decided to have a Kool-Aid sale. They raised $500 just by making an effort. We are very proud of them. We are also glad to see that their community supported them.
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency sent two technicians, 20 trucks, 34 officers, and at least 10 boats to New Orleans on Friday and started pulling folks out and providing security for convoys and firefighters. They were all volunteers.
The person I want to draw your attention to in particular is Pastor Roger Tarver of the First Baptist Church here in town. Pastor Roger has been running from shelter to shelter, organizing, feeding, counseling, and delivering. He runs from the displaced nursing home (89 patients and nurses crammed into one wing of a former nursing home), to the ABC summer camp 20-odd miles outside of town (another 400 or so), to the Mission Church (another 25-30), to our church to gather more supplies, to the Catholic school cafeteria where the local fire department is feeding evacuees, while installing our new electric movie screen, writing sermons, and praying every morning with the deacons of the church.
Pastor Roger is a local contact, disseminating news of who needs what, picking up and dropping off, starting a daily Bible study at the ABC camp, gathering volunteers for whatever service is needed, and still serving the needs of his congregation. That he hasn't dropped of exhaustion amazes me. I can't keep up, and I'm at least 30 years younger than him!
These shelters are NOT affiliated with FEMA, the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, or any such group. They are local, they are Crowley, and they are Cajun. This is what charity is at the root, people who want to help. While people are complaining about what large organizations cannot do, you can show what private citizens can and do accomplish.
— Elizabeth (Crowley, LA)
My son is one of my greatest heroes. He has been in Iraq three times now defending our freedoms. When they called him to New Orleans he was ready and willing to go again — again defending our freedoms and trying to put chaos into control — defending those in need. He has risked his life on foreign soil, and now he is risking his life in his own country. His heart is for the protection of the innocent.
To him and all of those who literally risk their lives physically and emotionally to protect and defend the innocent, I can never thank you enough.
— A Loving Mother in Louisiana
I live in Maryland and have a very close friend in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. I am originally from the Mobile, Alabama area.
I want to say that the people of Hattiesburg are heroes. In the small communities that surround Hattiesburg (like Oak Grove and Mossell) there are people who have been stuck without water, sometimes food and definitely without power. There are others in surrounding trailer parks — unable to leave because of fallen trees — confined with children, babies and no food or water. The people of Hattiesburg that can travel have been going to the outlying areas and finding these folk, discerning their need and then going to a local church or Red Cross to get it for them.
I also have contacts in Mobile that have told me that folks from AL (who are in much better shape) have been making the trek across the state line (which mostly only happened during football season or the holidays) to do the same: take much needed food and water to those poor and isolated who can't get the necessities for themselves.
As you know, there are gas shortages in those areas. Gas is obtained at very high cost to boot. These people are making great sacrifices of their time and money to help their neighbors. They show true examples of "Love your neighbor as yourself."
Just a bit of positive news: when the government doesn't know the needs of its most isolated citizens, it's nice to know that your neighbors do.
The nursing assistants and other staff from Ferncrest Manor nursing home in New Orleans are true heroes. They did not abandon their patients, one of whom was my mother. They evacuated the nursing home and stayed with the patients for 4 days, with no food, water, sleep or showers. They stayed with their patients at a shelter, until all the patients were divided up amongst other nursing homes in the Baton Rouge area. During this time, they had no idea where there own families were, or where they were going from that point. They could have disbanded since Ferncrest was underwater, and not likely to open again anytime in the near future. Instead, they stayed. This is a true sacrifice. These are TRUE heroes.
The United States Coast Guard deserves highest hero recognition for their immediate response after the hurricane. This is the smallest and most underfunded military organization in the U.S. They were executing continuous rescues of people from the flood the day after the hurricane while the rest of the operation waited for written orders to precede. These are true American heroes in this disaster.
— Mick (Dobbins, CA)
I consider the utility companies that come into this kind of devastation to restore power to be heroes. I work at Sumter Utilities, and we currently have 700 of our 1,000 plus employees out on storm work, restoring power to Alabama, Mississippi, Florida and Louisiana.
These guys are asked to give up a lot, and did so with very little appreciation. They leave families behind for weeks, sometimes months at a time. They sleep in "tent cities" on cots; they stand in line for showers and eat whatever is fed to them. And sometimes, they have no way of communicating with their loved ones back home. They get homesick and tired, working the hours that they are asked to work, and most of them do it without complaining.
Let's give all the utility crews the appreciation they deserve. They are heroes too, as most people will see when the lights shine over these cities once again.
— A. (Sumter, SC)
My story is not about one person but a group of unpaid people that donated their time and radio gear when all the phone lines and cell towers were down — Ham radio operators.
These people took a roll of wire and a 12-volt battery with their radios and kept emergency traffic going for the Red Cross and the Salvation Army. They also help the Red Cross and the Salvation Army organize their supply needs. While en route to help the relief efforts, the Coast Guard in St. Louis made a request for an amateur radio operator.
First responders do a great job, but the amateur radio operator is there to keep the communication lines open.
My two girls raised $3,465 on a three-day fundraiser drive. We live on country road. They decided they wanted to help the Red Cross and got up on Saturday, September 3rd at 5:45 am and stood on their street until 6:00 pm. They brought in over $400 on the first day. It had made them feel so good, so they decided they wanted to do it the whole holiday weekend. On Sunday they made close to $1,000. Then on Labor Day they did it again. These two girls, Kaitlyn and Danielle, worked very hard in the hot sun for a total of 25 hours.
— Todd (Lexington, SC)
My hero is my step-dad, along with all of the other Fort Hood soldiers from 1-8 Cav. Most of them have recently gotten back from Iraq. They bravely fought for freedom in Iraq, now they are fighting for normality in the lives of those affected by the hurricane. My dad left this last weekend; he was told that he would be gone for another 70-90 days. Who knows with the military? You come home when the job is done. My dad has missed high school graduation, college graduation, and many significant birthdays. It has always been a running joke in my family that he would miss my wedding. Now that is actually a possibility. I know my dad is doing something amazing for those who need it and with no hesitation. I was there last weekend as we said good-bye, and watched the bravery in the soldiers become so evident. That is why my dad along with the rest of the soldiers are the heroes that I see participating in the hurricane relief.
— Kacy (Fort Hood, TX)
My son was in New Orleans during Katrina. He arrived home Thursday morning early. He has told me many disturbing things. He is a hero and brought out several people, three dogs and a three-legged cat named "Tripod" out to Dallas. He had to hot-wire a van that was abandoned to get out.
I went to three Red Cross shelters in Shreveport/Bossier, LA and one church shelter in Athens, TX. Everywhere I went I saw people banding together, caring for the young and the old. In every instance, the children who were separated from their parents had someone who assumed surrogate responsibilities until a parent could be located. One man showed up at a shelter with eight children, only two of whom were his. The ones who have the least are giving the most. They are the real heroes of this story.
We had four elderly ladies who were not physically capable of lying on an air mattress on the floor or getting up off of one either. Sister Sharon Rambin of Shreveport, LA arranged for these ladies to be placed in a local nursing home. All the ladies were located by their children and reunited within four days. Every person who had contact with them cherished them.
My heart goes out to the first responders. Every story I hear reflects their frantic efforts to get as many people as they could to safety as quickly as was humanly possible. One of the elderly ladies told the story of first being moved by boat, then by helicopter, then by ambulance to Baton Rouge, then being picked up by a pastor in a church van and brought to the shelter in Shreveport. She said everyone was kind to her.
— T.L. (Bossier City, LA)
Share your hero stories with FOX Fan Central — firstname.lastname@example.org.