BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - It started out as a small idea that grew roots and spread out to the community to help people on hard times.
“It was because of Floridians and people across America giving us hope in our darkest hour that we want to be that hope for Floridians now,” said Cheli Strumila, the block party organizer.
Some people in the Florida panhandle are still homeless Hurricane Michael came ashore in October. The goal of the Biloxi Block Party is to keep giving the storm victims something to keep their heads up.
“It was amazing. When I saw the first people donate the first 10 or 20 in there, it was amazing,” Strumila said.
The musical headliners who normally charge for gigs all donated their time and talent for free.
“Oh man, we know how it feels to be affected by a hurricane, so it feels great,” said Kelsey Moran, one of the performers.
Everybody pitched in to give whatever they could whether it was a stage, electricity, tables and more. Blaine Ashely donated his own stage, speakers and audio equipment,
“It’s just a normal everyday thing for me. I own a production company so that’s what I do,” Ashely said.
Ask any business or volunteer why they chose to help out, and their answers are all similar. They think back to Hurricane Katrina.
“Being in kind of a situation where we can help out other people going through a similar situation is awesome. It’s just great to be able to do that,” said Benjamin Taylor, the manager of Mugshots restaurant.
“Just feel the pain that these people are going through because they are homeless. They don’t have anything,” Ashley said.
“Our Coast is amazing, and I know that we are going to shine that light in Florida,” Strumila said.