It was a flurry of activity Tuesday, as the St. Vincent de Paul Pharmacy finally re-opened on Division Street. As one volunteer fielded phone calls, another volunteer separated medicines.
"We sort them by dates," he explained.
Nearly six months after Katrina, the pharmacy is welcoming back hundreds of clients in need, like the Jimersons of Gulfport.
"It's just a blessing from the Lord that we were able to come back again, because we've been running different places looking for medicines," said Susie Jimerson.
"This costs $75 a vile," said Janet Moran as she pulled out a bottle of Diabetes medicine. She traveled all the way from Wiggins to sign-up for free refills.
"I'm really thankful, because I don't know what I'd do without it. I really need all my supplies. My tests and supplies are so expensive," Moran said.
The clients are also grateful for volunteers like Judy Krecker who are working hard to keep the community pharmacy running, despite suffering their own losses in the storm.
"We have a slab. We lost pretty much everything, but we didn't lose our spirit. We have a house in Ocean Springs, and we're rebuilding our lives," said Krecker.
While the volunteers are the backbone of the seven-year program, they couldn't have done it without more than $250,000 in donations to refurbish the trailer, replace the flooded equipment, and buy all the medication and supplies.
And the volunteers vow to continue their mission to provide free prescription drugs and a dose of hope to needy families.
Krecker said, "It makes you feel grateful when you see the needs that are present here. It certainly makes me feel grateful for my life."
Right now, the pharmacy is only accepting clients who were enrolled in the program before Katrina. New participants must be screened to determine if they qualify financially. The enrollment process for new clients starts March 7th. You can schedule an appointment by calling 370-9097.