NC woman brings Katrina Quilt to South Mississippi

NC woman brings Katrina Quilt to South Mississippi
A drawing and story that stood out to Kate Brighton was one of 15-year-old and her family that had to climb through their attic to save their lives. (Photo source: WLOX)
A drawing and story that stood out to Kate Brighton was one of 15-year-old and her family that had to climb through their attic to save their lives. (Photo source: WLOX)

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Ten years ago, Hurricane Katrina took the life out of much of the Gulf Coast. But she didn't take our spirit. One woman who came to the coast from Columbia, North Carolina to help the Salvation Army with recovery, is helping tell that Katrina story, but from a child's perspective.

"I set out this big sheet on the table and asked the children to draw on it. Something that would remind them about the storm, tell the story about the storm and that's been with me all these years," Kate Brighton said.

Brighton knew she wanted to do something special with the children's artwork to remember all of their stories.

"I felt like I had this artwork and it had to come back to Biloxi," she said.

So almost four years after the storm, she created a quilt.

"The one that's more poignant to me is this blue one behind me. The young man that was drawing it began to tell me how he had watched his uncle, Mr. Michael, out in the storm, but actually he witnessed him drowning. So that was the way he was expressing it," Brighton said.

Another drawing and story that stood out to Brighton was one of 15-year-old and her family that had to climb through their attic to save their lives. To Brighton's surprise, she was reunited with that 15-year-old at the Kroc Center. Shanika Sims is now 25 and her story is on the quilt.

"It helped me because I was able to get it out," Sims said. "You know at that time, I didn't have anyone to talk to. All of your parents are trying to figure out what to do next so this was a way for us to sit down, come together and say 'this is what happened to us'. You know, from a child's point of view."

Brighton hopes those who visit the Kroc Center and see the quilt will enjoy the simplicity of the children's art and their stories. She also hopes the quilt can aid as another piece of closure for those who continue to heal, 10 years later.

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