Escatawpa Church Sends Supplies To Ike Victims

By Sylvia Hall - bio | email

ESCATAWPA, MS (WLOX) - Like so many others in South Mississippi, Katrina taught the members of Escatawpa Baptist Church what it's like to lose everything.

"Eighty percent of our members here at this church lost their homes or were inundated with water from the Pascagoula River and the Escatawpa River. And now it's just a joy to be able to give back, and they mean it from the bottom of their hearts," said church deacon Mark Toomer.

Escatawpa Baptist Church is sending nearly $3,000 worth of supplies to South Texas, for those hit hard by Hurricane Ike. That's enough to help almost 400 devastated families.

Church members worked from sunrise to sunset Monday to prepare.

"We have been shopping all day today at different places with all the money that people donated to the church. And God's just blessed our money. It's been just going and going and going. It's almost like we can't spend it," said Brooke Smith.

Sixteen-year-old Smith is no stranger to hurricane damage. Her family's home flooded three years ago. She's glad her experience can help another community.

"We experienced this after Katrina, and its such a blessing to be able to give this stuff and to be able to do this for them, because I know exactly how they feel. They really are going to need this."

Cleaning supplies, food, and toiletries were only a few of the first response items the church will distribute.

"We are real pleased with the effort. And when we get down there, we hope the folks there will be pleased with the effort that we've made," said church member John George.

This trip isn't the last of their efforts. Church deacon Mark Toomer says the church will keep helping and donating long after this trip. They hope to continue helping until there's no longer a need.

"You really feel like there's really people in need. These people are in need, and we know they're in need, and we're going to try to help them," he said.

The group of 14 members will return from their trip Wednesday.