Monday, December 12, 2005

Thanks from the Batiquins

KatrinaGrace recently helped the Batiquins with $250 to help pay for a mobile storage unit for their belongings while they replaced their roof which was destroyed by Katrina.

They sent Grace this note:

We wanted to thak you for your prayers and the check you guys sent to us through Kathy Boren. It really blessed our hearts and our lives that day! We moved back into our home last Friday and today we are busy counting our blessings!

Thanks and blessings back on you! You have served us well!

The Batiquins - Tony, Dawn & kids

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Friday, December 09, 2005

Forcey Provides Updated Information on Upcoming Trips

We have officially scheduled 4 trips to Louisiana. If you are interested in participating in any of these trips, please contact me directly.

Trip #1: Led by John Riston is scheduled for January 14-22 – it is completely full.

Trip #2: Led by Gary Williams is scheduled for January 28 – February 4still has room for about 17 more people. Included in this group is a small group of men led by Grove Teates who will be driving down to Louisiana and hauling a number of large pieces of landscaping equipment. This group of men will be staying from January 28 – February 10. If you have a desire to stay that long as well, let us know.

Trip #3: Led by Sam Barrow is scheduled for February 11-19still has room for about 22 more people

Trip #4: Led by John Heater is scheduled for April 8-16 and is geared for teenagers. The plan is to take about 6 adults and 27 teens and drive down in three vans. If we do not get enough teens signed up, then we will open it up to more adults.

All of these trips are open to those outside of Forcey but Forcey-ites get priority placement.


John Heater

(cell) 301-928-8060

Thursday, December 08, 2005

KatrinaGrace Plans thru 2006

As you've probably picked up from media reports, there is still a lot to be done in Louisiana (and Mississippi) to aid the region in its recovery from Katrina. In addition to the remaining need still for massive cleanup and rebuilding all through the region, there is now additional concern for increasing depression and more suicides.

KatrinaGrace is planning to continue to partner with Trinity Church in Covington, LA in reaching out to Katrina Survivors in the area for many months to come.

This past Sunday, the KatrinaGrace Leadership Team met to establish focuses for 2006. Here are some of our plans for the next several months. And some of this will likely change:
  • On Saturday 17 December, Beth Shields and Jen Long, two members of the Leadership Team are flying to Covington, LA to meet with Michael Sprague, Trinity's Senior Pastor, Mark Lewis, who coordinate's Trinity's Katrina Relief Efforts, and Jim Warren, who is taking a leadership role in Trinity's efforts to aid the community in rebuilding. The meeting is to discuss how KatrinaGrace and Trinity might most effectively partner to serve the community in the coming months. Michael has also asked Beth and Jen to speak to the church on Sunday and then they're flying back.

  • Because of your generous giving for Katrina relief, KatrinaGrace will also be providing Trinity with several thousands of dollars worth of Christmas Gift Cards to be distributed to Katrina Survivors. What's really cool is that independently of us, Trinity had already decided to do the same thing themselves. There's enormous need in the area and this will only be a drop in the bucket.

  • In addition to the small planning trip mentioned above, and participating in the Forcey trips mentioned yesterday, KatrinaGrace plans to sponsor at least four trips in 2006 to Covington, LA in Feb, May, August and November to work with Trinity in cleanup, rebuilding, social work, etc. The plan is to use donated frequent flyer miles and rent trucks in the area once we arrive. Beth Shields will be coordinating these trips and establishing team leaders, so if you're interested in participating in any of these, please email her.

  • In October, KatrinaGrace decided to directly support Trinity's Katrina Relief efforts with $1000 monthly payments through March of 2006. This past Sunday, the Leadership Team decided to extend those payments through September of 2006.

  • One of the focuses in 2006 that we are most excited about is the KatrinaZone Family Adoption Initiative, that will be led by Johnny and Jen Long. Michael Sprague of Trinity loved this idea when we recently shared it with him and this is one of the items on the agenda for further planning when Jen and Beth fly down in a couple of weeks.

    The idea is that Grace individuals and families get personally involved with one particular Katrina surviving family in Trinity's community. They can exchange letters, assistance, advice, money, fellowship, friendship, whatever. KatrinaGrace allocated $3000 for this but we are also encouraging folks to establish their own monthly amounts, giving thru Grace (which makes it tax-deductable) and with the entire amount going to the selected family.

  • We haven't gotten as involved with Katrina Survivors who have ended up in the Baltimore-Washington Corridor as much as we originally hoped. It seems that most of them have connected with family and friends and have flown under the radar. Nevertheless, we've earmarked $3000 for supporting these kinds of folks as they hit our radar screen. If you learn of particular cases that could use our assistance, please email Stephen Shields.

  • A KatrinaGrace Community Event. Not sure what this looks like yet but we've a lot of pictures and some video and - more importantly - some good stories. We are seeking the best forum in which to share these with whoever is interested.

    So this site will be the best place to learn about how all this unfolds and to discover where you might fit in!

    Possible Action Steps

    If you have any frequent-flyer miles that you'd like to donate, please email Stephen Shields.

    If you are interested in going on any of the KatrinaGrace trips, pls email Beth Shields.

    If you'd like to go on any of the Forcey Trips, email John Heater.

    If you'd like to adopt a Katrina Survivor Family, email either Johnny Long or Jen Long.

    If you'd like to contribute financially to any of these initiatives, just give a check to Grace Community Church and designate it for "KatrinaGrace."

    More to come.

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Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Upcoming Trips to the KatrinaZone

Forcey Memorial Church is inviting interested Gracers in participating in one of their several upcoming trips down to work with Trinity Church in Covington, LA. Forcey folks participated in KatrinaGrace's last trip to LA. KatrinaGrace is willing to contribute to Gracers' costs on these trips. Here's their announcement:

Forcey is planning four trips down to Trinity Church in Louisiana. We are opening these trips up to those outside of Forcey but we are giving Forcey-ites priority placement.

Trip #1: January 14 – 22: Team Leader is John Riston – this team will be driving down in two church vans and a pick-up truck. The maximum they can take is 25 and as of this past Sunday, Dec 4, 15 people have signed up to go. Forcey is providing the vans and the fuel costs for this trip. We are looking for laborers, workers for the free store, and cooks/bottle washers.

Trip #2: January 28 – February 4: Team Leader is Gary Williams – some of this team will be driving down and some of this team will be flying down. Grove Teates and crew will be bringing several large pieces of earth moving equipment on this trip. We are looking for laborers, workers for the free store, and cooks/bottle washers.

Trip #3: February 11 – 19: Team Leader is Sam Barrow. Details are still being worked out for this team.

Trip #4: April 8 – 16: Team Leader is John Heater – this trip is geared for teenagers but we will have need of some adults as well – we will be working with Urban Impact in downtown New Orleans. Urban Impact is connected with Trinity.

More details will follow as we get them. Let me know if you are interested in any of the above dates.

If you are interested in participating in any of these trips, send an email to John Heater ccing Stephen Shields.

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Sunday, December 04, 2005

Local KatrinaGrace Survivor: Trinell Goodley

You might recall an earlier post regarding Trinell Goodley and her family. She writes to let us know:

...Walter Reed Medical Center formally offered me a position on last week, still under consideration due to the hours 5am-1:30pm. Interviewed today with Anrundal Hospital for a part-time position in the Wound Center.Kids are fine, I'm doing well, due to the concern and kind hearted people like you. Thanks, keep in touch.

Thank you Grace!