Volunteers Deliver New Home, Furniture To Ocean Springs Woman

With a few torn boxes, and a little heavy lifting, more than a dozen Camp Victor volunteers from Maryland aren't just finishing off Karen Gipson's home, they're decorating it too.

"You're with the resident the whole time, which is powerful, but I've never been a part of giving someone their home back," volunteer Caleb Mazaika said.

Gipson never dreamed her Katrina-ravaged home would ever be repaired.

"All this was molded and mildewed. I slept in here for about a year. All the mold and mildew was so bad. I had buckets, pans, pots, my roof had fallen in, caved in," she said.

Instead of the mess Katrina left behind, brand new beds, couches, and dressers will fill the rooms.

"It's rags to riches almost. And not just physical riches, I mean she's got emotional and spiritual riches. I don't know what her beliefs are, but there's got to be proof there's a God," Mazaika said.

And for these volunteers, whose church has sent five teams to Camp Victor since Katrina, they won't be going home empty-handed.

"You get so much out of it. Just seeing this person you don't know with a huge smile on their face, trying to understand what they went through, but you never can, and knowing you made a difference," volunteer Chelsea Smith said.

As the volunteers pray with Gipson one last time, their special home delivery won't ever be forgotten.

Gipson says the two things she's looking forward to most are being able to take a real bath and watch her grandchildren run down the halls.