We just received this from Patty Westland who was the Team Leader of the April 2006 KatrinaGrace Team V (a Cooking Team) who travelled to the New Orleans Area:
Patty & Perry Westland
P.O Box 143
Fulton, MD 20759
Dear Family and friends,
I’m writing to tell you about my latest adventure in life.
I went on my first mission trip to Covington, Louisiana to help Katrina victims. It is about an hour from the French Quarter.
I volunteered to be the team leader (surprise!) of a 5 man cooking team. We fed 66 workers that were there to muck houses. Mucking is the emptying of ones home of all its mud, personnel belongings, walls, and flooring that has been rotting there for 7 months (including, freezers and refrigerators yuck). It was a trip, a real eye-opener for all of us.
Everyone here seems to think that because Mardi Gras and the Superdome are operational, life is back to normal. Well, it’s far from that! It is just getting started. It is so difficult to describe what these people are going through. You just can’t imagine it, until you have walked the roads of the destruction. It is now 7 Months later and community after community, after community, is still in ruins. It looks like a war zone. I still can’t believe it looks like that. It is unbelievable that, here in the USA, people are struggling to put their lives back together. People all around me ask:”Why would they want to go back?” All I can say is, it’s their home. They are fighting with the insurance companies to see who will pay. “Oh no!” says the hurricane insurance company, “it was caused by a flood.” And of course the flood insurance says it was caused by the hurricanes. ... It is an unending mess.
We worked with a non-profit organization called “EFCA- Compassion Ministries-Katrina Relief” that works with Trinity Church in Covington, Louisiana. People volunteer from all over the United States and Canada to help. Trinity is where the supplies are kept, the food is cooked and volunteers sleep. We slept on the floor and showered in the portable outdoor showers. Volunteers who stay here must pack up their belonging twice a week, for scheduled meetings in the building... Some people find a new calling in life and stay to help. They realize the depth of the devastation and the great need for help.
Perry and I along with my parents Jack and Dee have decided to donate a travel trailer that we own together. The trailer will provide desperately needed sleeping quarters for people who stay long term. I am writing to ask you to help us fill the trailer. We will be taking the donated items to Louisiana. If you are able to help fill the trailer- it would be great. The easiest thing to travel with is gift cards from Lowe’s, Home Depot, Sam’s Club, Shell gas and Wal-Mart. We are also looking for the following items:
· N95 dust masks with exhalation valve Safety glasses
· Duct tape/Drywall tape Hand sanitizer
· Work gloves/ladies work gloves Heavy duty forks, knives, spoons
· Paper towels in bulk Septic approved toilet paper
· Heavy duty paper plates Large tarps
I will be collecting items the week of the June 5th thru June 11.
Call for pick up.
You can mail checks made out to EFCA Compassion-Katrina relief and gift cards to
Po Box 143
Fulton, Md 20759
If you want more information about the organization go to [the EFCA Compassion Katrina Page].
Please keep us in your thoughts.
Patty, Perry, PJ and Kris