Katrina +10 exhibit spotlights hurricane volunteers

Katrina +10 exhibit spotlights hurricane volunteers
Hands on Mississippi was on e of the major organizations that helped organize volunteers. (Photo source: WLOX)
Hands on Mississippi was on e of the major organizations that helped organize volunteers. (Photo source: WLOX)

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - As Life Beyond Katrina stories continue to be told, the thousands of people who helped coast residents to find a bit of hope in the midst of devastation and tragedy are remembered.

When visitors go to Biloxi's Ohr O'Keefe Museum, they can spend a few minutes in the life of a volunteer at the Katrina +10 exhibit. Hands On Mississippi was one of the major organizations on the Gulf Coast during Katrina that helped organize volunteers coming to the area.

"There really isn't much in this pod, but again, life of a volunteer there wasn't really much of anything. This really shows that being a volunteer wasn't a glamorous life," said the museums assistant director, Carol Messer.

Messer says visitors will have the opportunity to experience the emptiness and sweltering heat blanketed the area days after Katrina's storm.

"It was rewarding in what you did and who you helped. It wasn't rewarding as far as, you know, the conditions that you lived in. We have just a basic cot, a hazmat suit, basic supplies and we also have tarps here," Messer said.

Messer says the blue tarps serve as a symbol of closure and testament. The signatures of those who survived the storm, along with the volunteers that came to help with what Katrina destroyed, can be seen by those who visit.

"Without the volunteers it would have been very difficult to move forward. They were here to rebuild houses, helping provide food, helping provide hope," Messer added.

Through hope, coast communities have showed their resilience and loyalty to where they call home.

More than 25,000 visitors have been to the exhibit, which will be on display until Labor Day.

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