Volunteers Help Ensure Happy Thanksgiving In Post Katrina South Mississippi

Richard Higgins could have been at home.

He could have been slicing turkeys for his family back in Indiana.

But he chose to spend Thanksgiving in a tiny Gulfport kitchen, surrounded by other volunteers from Indiana, Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia.

"The people of Gulfport have suffered enough. And it was just the right thing to do to come down and do the Thanksgiving just for the people, and to show God's love to them from our church to theirs," said Higgins.

Higgins' group brought Trinity United Methodist Church 90 turkeys.

And the volunteers whipped up enough stuffing, green beans and gravy to feed 3,500 south Mississippi storm victims.

"It's the right thing to do. We all believe it's the right thing to do," said Higgins.

Out on the assembly line, Elizabeth Nichols filled plate after plate with the turkey Mr. Higgins just sliced.

"Because it's more blessed to give," said Nichols.

Forty five volunteers served the holiday meal.

Some stood next to their children, others were shoulder to shoulder with new friends.

They all gave up Thanksgiving with their families to help South Mississippi families.

"Seeing the devastation here just emphasizes how much we have to be thankful for all the time," said volunteer Alex Pettigrew.

"It means a lot because I always like helping people and now I get this huge opportunity to. And it's people who really, really need my help," said volunteer Abbie Pettigrew.

"They need us and we're charged with taking care of God's people," said Higgins.