South Mississippians Cook Up Recipe For Tsunami Relief

Millions of Americans and others around the world are responding to the call for aid in Southeast Asia.

A group of women here in South Mississippi are trying to do their part to help the thousands in need.

"It just overwhelming. You just don't know what you can do to help but you just feel obligated that you have to do something," says Ocean Springs resident Anita Odell.

It was her desire to do something for the hundreds of thousands of Tsunami victims that spawned her first idea to help.

As Chief Operations Officer for the Medical Foundation of South Mississippi she would enlist all seven of the groups primary care clinics in a massive canned food drive.

"We tried to call organizations to see if they were doing that," says Anita.

"They weren't doing that, so financial donations were the only thing available," she added.

So to raise those financial donations she combined her original idea with a new one.

"We still had the idea we wanted to help so we thought, well hey we can cook," Anita said.

She and other volunteers from the Medical Foundation would prepare and sell lunches to their staff.

The response was both immediate and overwhelming.

"The fax came out to the clinics at 4 o'clock on Thursday and by 4 o'clock on Friday we had 164 orders. People from the United Way ordered food. Rehab at Memorial, our 7 clinics and then Wendy's did help a lot by donating all the dressing for the salads for us," she said.

Monday's menu includes spaghetti and green beans, or chicken salad with cookie's for desert.

With four cooks in the kitchen the recipe's are something of a group effort.

But the ingredients include a health dose of compassion for people beyond the reach of their healing hands but forever in their thoughts and prayers.