Upcoming Meeting To Highlight Volunteer Response To Hurricane Zone

AmeriCorp volunteers were among the very first to assist the survivors of Hurricane Katrina.

"And yeah, we've been coming down here ever since," says AmeriCorps Service Learning Liaison Sean Jenkins.

Nearly 2 years later, they still have their hands full.

"We've been doing construction,We've been doing debris clearing. We've been doing mold removal, education, I mean a whole bunch of different things." said Jenkins.

The continued response of volunteers will be the subject of discussion at the Corporation for National and Community Service's year 2 meeting in Biloxi.

Councilman Bill Stallworth has already made his assessment.

"Without the volunteers we simply couldn't be where we are," "Collectively they've repaired over 500 homes, built another 25 or 30 new homes in just this area alone." said Stallworth.

But Stallworth says he's surprised by what he sees as a dwindling appreciation for their help.

"I'm really alarmed at the number of communities who are sort of making it more difficult for volunteers to actually, get in, come in and stay in.

Stallworth will be one of the speakers at the meeting, and plans to share with National Service Chief David Eisner an urgent message, that we still need and want volunteers.

"We need to be spreading the word that although the casinos are up and going, the rest of the town is still in need of some help. And the only way a number of these folks will be able to recover is simply by the help of volunteers. If we don't have them, we won't be able to finish the recovery."

The meeting begins at 9:00am Monday at the Hands On Gulf Coast Volunteer Center on Pass Road.

At the meeting, the President's Volunteer Service Awards will be given to local volunteer heroes.