LEAKESVILLE, MS (WLOX) - As the Leakesville community struggles to return to a normal life, members of the First Baptist Church did their part to provide assistance. Thanks to the help of various corporations and individual donors, the group collected a room full of clothes, shoes, food, toiletries and more to distribute to the community.
Michelle Pyne may be small in size, but that did not stopping her or her AmeriCorps team from completing a big mission.
Eight AmeriCorps volunteers from throughout the country are camping out in Leakesville this week, helping First Baptist Church provide for those who have lost everything. In the midst of downed trees, toppled homes and broken glass, the group dedicated themselves to helping families in need and get their lives back on track.
"We got a call Saturday to come up and help with the debris removal and some volunteer efforts happening up here," Pyne said. "It's really great to be able to just cut up a tree and get it off somebody's lawn. It's helping them get back to a life that is more normal."
Considering life was anything but normal for the more than 50 Leakesville families now without a home, First Baptist Church leaders hope donations will be made by those who can because every bit of help counts.
"We could be in the situation that these people are, so it's very very important to give back to them because you never know when it's going to be you that this happens to," said Jimmy Holcolme of the George Green Baptist Church Association.
The Devastation this storm left behind is painfully evident, but relief groups said the generosity of the community made a world of difference.
"We have Piggly Wiggly here, the whole corporation, Family Dollar, Dollar General. We're making contacts with them for giving donations for things that we just need like toiletries and diapers just things that families need just everyday things. And they're stepping up to the plate," said Tony Gray of First Baptist Church.
Congressman Steven Palazzo visited Leakesville for the second time today. He said plans are in the works to provide temporary housing as soon as possible for storm victims. Until then, the efforts of relief groups are appreciated beyond measure.
"The Government isn't supposed to be the sole provider of these services," Palazzo said "It's the communities taking care of communities. Families taking care of families, and it's just good to see people pouring out to help this community. They need it."
According to congregation leaders, they will continue to be a support system residents as they attempt to move forward and get past these trying times.
First Baptist Church will be holding a special service at 7:30 on Easter Sunday at Green Park in front of the Leakesville Court House.