Katrina volunteer challenges South MS to help the Northeast with - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Katrina volunteer challenges South MS to help the Northeast with storm recovery

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SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) -

A man who helped lead rebuilding efforts in Biloxi after Katrina is challenging South Mississippi to help storm victims in the northeast.

Craig Snow says there's a desperate need for volunteers to help residents of New York and New Jersey recover.

He's encouraging those who received assistance after Katrina, to consider returning the favor.

Hurricane Katrina brought Craig Snow to Mississippi. He helped rebuild some 75 homes, primarily in East Biloxi.

"I came in 2005 for two weeks and stayed for four years. Four years of some wonderful memories," said Snow.

His work is now focused on the northeast.

"What we're seeing in Atlantic City is not the dramatic, but the traumatic. The trauma of having homes receiving three foot of water inside," he explained.

But while South Mississippi was experienced with storm recovery, such is not the case in New Jersey.

"People responded really well in Katrina. You know, they knew what they had to do. Get out that sheet rock. But what we're finding in Atlantic City is people are under responding. People are just so traumatized," says Snow.

That he says, is where Mississippi can help. Remember all the Katrina victims who pledged to return the favor?

"I'd like to invite Mississippi. It's time. It's your opportunity. People in New York and New Jersey need your help. They need your strength that you have fortified, that came from having gone through this," he said.

"Amazing. Life changing," said Janice Bantner, who was a Katrina volunteer who came to South Mississippi with her church group.

"I was participating in groups of people who would come, expecting to help someone, only to find out that they'd helped themselves. Growing in richness and giving of themselves. People were just exploding with love," said Bantner.

Craig Snow likes to call it: A conspiracy of compassion.

"I think when volunteers come, even if they're not working on your home, just seeing that you're not forgotten. That there's people remembering you and extravagantly coming down. It breathes hope," he explained.

That hope that was so evident after Katrina, is now desperately needed in the northeast.

Snow challenges everyone in South Mississippi to find some way of helping the storm victims in the Northeast.

Financial donations are certainly helpful, but the greatest need is for volunteers.  His group is working with Atlantic City to develop a long term storm recovery plan.

To learn how you can help click Hope Force International.

Copyright 2012 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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