Seattle Choir Helps Gulfport Family Rebuild

By Don Culpepper - bio | email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - They're known for the sweet music they make in the great Northwest. But the sounds they've made in rebuilding one South Mississippi home have been the real music to Yusuf Bryant's ears.

"I really don't know what to think about them," the Gulfport resident said.  "All I can say is I thank them and I thank God for coming."

This is fourth trip from Seattle, Washington to Gulfport for the members of the Total Experience Gospel Choir. But Choir Director Pastor Pat Right said their thoughts have been with the Bryant family since shortly after Hurricane Katrina.

"Oh, I'm so tired for fund raisers," Right said. "For the last three and a half years, my life has been spent doing fund raisers. But, you know, we couldn't do them for a better cause. So we are very happy to be here to do what we're doing. Thank God for those fund raisers."

Those fund raisers have paid for most of the building materials, as well as air fare for the choir members and their sponsors. This was 16-year-old Victoria Fuangaronya's third trip.

"We just keep coming here and coming until the work is done," Fuangaronya said. "One family at a time, we just want to help out."

This was 17-year-old Deshe' Brooks' first trip to South Mississippi. He's surprised that after three years, so much work is still left to be done.

"This doesn't get talked about much," Brooks said. "So it's going to take regular people, like the people you see here, to change things."

Yusuf Bryant said there's no shortage of people who still need the help.

"It's a lot more people out here that need people like them to help," Bryant said.

The Mississippi Case Management Consortium, the Gulf Coast Community Foundation, the Mississippi Hurricane Recovery Fund, the Red Cross, and Presbyterian Disaster Assistance have all also assisted in the Bryants' rebuilding effort.