TN volunteers pledge to continue Isaac relief efforts - - The News for South Mississippi

TN volunteers pledge to continue Isaac relief efforts

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With so much focus on the Northeast, people in Mississippi are still trying to pick up their lives after Hurricane Isaac may fear they'll be forgotten. Some volunteers from Tennessee said there is no need to worry.

Mike Smith said a health scare convinced him to open his heart to those in need.

"Fourteen years ago, I had open heart surgery and the good Lord let me come back," said Smith. "So I am here to do what I can do where ever I can do to help folks. That's my mission."

Volunteers from Concord United Methodist Church came here dozens of times to help after Katrina. Now they're starting a new wave of Isaac repairs from helping fix damage from a tree falling on the house of a Gulfport senior citizen to mucking out flooded houses in Jackson County. Church members said they love the work because they love the people of South Mississippi.

"The people down here are so appreciative. They feed us great meals," said Robert Bedwell, volunteer. "When we come back the next time whatever we left is in better shape than it was the previous time. It's always encouraging. We bring youth down here and they can see that once you get the people back on their feet they keep it or make it even nicer than it was."

Volunteers said while other volunteer groups are chasing the latest storm, they've decided to stick to their plan to help out down here.

Bedwell said, "People here in Mississippi and also in Louisiana people still need help and unfortunately most people especially the news go chasing the most recent storm so now Mississippi and Louisiana will be forgotten."

"All the news will be about the East Coast but the need is still here."

Mike Smith said, "A lot of the work is being done through the faith based community. A lot of the other organizations come in and leave but the faith based stays right there."

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