Thank You Party For Katrina Volunteers And First Responders - - The News for South Mississippi

Thank You Party For Katrina Volunteers And First Responders

Thank you.

They are simple words. Yet, they express an overwhelming appreciation felt by so many hurricane survivors.

"Thank you so much for everything you all have done," said Margaret Miller, Ocean Springs Chamber of Commerce Director.

The chamber hosted a luncheon on the eve of Katrina's anniversary to speak what is on everyone's hearts.

"I want to thank the thousands and thousands of volunteers from all around the country who have given their time over, and over, and over throughout the past year," said Miller.

Volunteers like Roger and Liz Hungerford of Virgina. This is the second time the couple has given up vacation days to answer South Mississippi's call for help.

"I'm quite honored that they would do this kind of thing to recognize all the people that came down and volunteered," said Roger Hungerford. "But I really think the true credit goes to the people who live down here."

"It's very emotional," said Liz Hungerford. "We are amazed to see how positive people are down here. We haven't met anybody who has sounded frustrated or upset."

The Hungerfords and more than 5,000 other volunteers have been based at Camp Victor on Government Street. Chamber leaders say the compound serves as the perfect backdrop for the party.

"Camp Victor really symbolizes what the faith-based community has done for Ocean Springs, Mississippi, and Louisiana in our time of need," said Miller. "It's just the perfect setting for all the joy and the elation really. It's a celebration of this last year, and what this place is all about."

It took a lot of faith and teamwork to pull the city together, from the police officers and firefighters to the employees who cleared the streets of debris. They all deserve a big hand.

Camp Victor is part of "Lutheran Disaster Response." Since September 2005, the volunteers have cleaned and repaired more than 500-houses in Jackson County and Biloxi. The camp is expected to stay in Ocean Springs for up to ten more years.

By: Trang Pham-Bui

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