Relief Group Being Confused With Another Under Investigation

By Krystal Allan - bio | email

LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - Directors at Camp Coast Care says the camp's name is creating a mix-up.

"We are Camp Coast Care," says Michael Magargel, Director of Volunteer Recruitment for Camp Coast Care.

Not to be confused with Camp Coastal Outpost of Hancock County, which is currently under investigation. Camp Coast Care says its been getting calls from people confusing it with the group.

As WLOX News reported this week, two state agencies are investigating Camp Coastal Outpost for misusing donations intended for relief efforts.  Directors at Camp Coast Care say it's troubling news considering everything people have gone through in South Mississippi.

"They lost their communities.  They've lost their homes, so the last thing we want to do is to give them any empty promises or any empty hope," says Magargel.

Camp Coast Care started operating three days after Hurricane Katrina.  It's rehabbed 388 homes and built 18 from the ground up.  The camp hosts nearly 3,000 volunteers a year.

Sandy and Skip Wrightson of Oxford, Maryland are two of them.

"We take this story back to the Diocese of Easton and bring ten to 25 people with us each time we come," says Sandy Wrightson.

The couple has made the trip to the camp six times.

"The staff here listens to what you have to say. They're not afraid to ask a question to get something to work more efficiently, and I think they're doing a fine job," says Skip Wrightson.

"Obviously, if you have repeat people coming back, you're doing something right," says Jon Vanzutphen, Camp Director for Camp Coast Care.

The group says keeping the support and trust of volunteers is even more reason to clear up the confusion.

Camp Coast Care is one of three campuses on the coast operating under the Lutheran Episcopal Disaster Relief program.

As for Camp Coastal Outpost, Mississippi's Secretary of State's office has put it under a cease and desist order.