West Virginia Volunteers Help Pass Kids Recover From Katrina

PASS CHRISTIAN (WLOX) -- Twenty summer campers are invading War Memorial Park in Pass Christian this week.

"Just to have fun and be kids," said Kids Club Coordinator Susie Stewart. "We try to have a Bible story, and do crafts. We have snacks, and of course recreation, and it had to involve water, water, water."

The camp is run by volunteers from Milton Baptist Church in West Virginia. They drove more than 800 miles to spend the week in the Pass. This is their third summer in South Mississippi.

"The mental health, the spiritual, the health of people so they will know God loves them. God loves them and we love them," said Stewart. "We want them to realize that there are people out there that are truly concerned about their lives and their families, and especially their children."

The camp brings comfort to Ralph Williams.

"This is nice that they're doing this," said Williams.

His two granddaughters lost their home in New Orleans during Katrina. Their family had to move away to Iowa. Williams used to see the girls just about every weekend.  Now, he only gets to see them during summers and major holidays.

"You can see they're having a good time today," Williams said with tears in his eyes. "It makes me feel really good, really good."

The volunteers enjoy restoring smiles to children's faces. They say it's their mission to brighten up the lives of families that still need healing.

"We're rebuilding the lives of people, not only their homes, but their emotional lives, their spiritual lives," said Stewart.

The West Virginia volunteers are also working on two homes in Pass Christian. They will leave on Saturday.