November 4, 2005 – I would like to share with you that as a result of my efforts working in the Gulf Coast, I was asked to be a part of an upcoming Oprah Winfrey show honoring volunteers who have made significant contributions towards the relief effort. We will be taping the show on Saturday, November 12th and the airdate will be announced.
I ask you for your prayers because I most definitely could use the wisdom. I would like to use this golden and once in a lifetime opportunity to the benefit of the people we have been serving. I am honored to be able to bring along nine of the people I worked so closely with during these efforts. They are still in shock. They keep asking me if I am joking and then you hear them say her name out loud. To hear the joy in the voices of these fine human beings is priceless because they deserve this honor in a BIG way. I have come to the realization that God is using me as a vessel to help these people and I am no longer shy or awkward about the position I have been blessed with. There is no greater high!
I share this awesome news only because I would like to get the message out that the relief efforts have just begun. I am blessed to have you be a part of something that is truly making a difference in the lives of many people. Your donations and compassion have made all the difference in the world.
As I've mentioned before, we are getting prepared for Thanksgiving. Our menu for feeding 1,000 people is in the works. I will be leaving Nov. 20th to bring things down and get prepared. The financial donations just started to come in so hopefully we are starting to reach the people. We have not reached enough though. To offset the financial donations, we are also collecting non-perishable items and canned goods too.
Key Chapter of the American Red Cross in Meridian, Mississippi has agreed to accept monetary donations on behalf of the relief efforts we have initiated to be put in a special account. This is allowing us to collect money tax-free because we are using their not-for-profit status, you get a tax deduction and the money goes further. It is MUCH cheaper to buy down South there than it is to drive it down from up North.
If you would like to donate, all checks should be made payable to the Key Chapter of the American Red Cross and in the memo section of the check, it MUST say: Pearlington, MS Thanksgiving, Christmas and Community Rebuilding. For more information on how and where to donate, please go to www.redcross-keychapter.org.
As for Christmas, we plan on getting the biggest tree Pearlington has ever seen. We'll put all of the gifts for the residents underneath it so that on Christmas morning, they awake to one of the happiest times they will remember. Another idea was to set up smaller trees at everybody's homes (trailers and tents) and place their gifts under their own personal tree. We are working on that. I have started to receive "wish lists."
The hurricane relief effort has taken a life of its own. It is for a great cause, so I do not mind the extra full-time job. I'll keep you posted regarding the happenings, as well, including the upcoming Oprah show. In the meantime, I'll keep the info and pictures coming.
P.S. — If you have a question or want more information, please e-mail me!
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