Giving Circle volunteers help families return home

By Al Showers - bio | email

WAVELAND, MS (WLOX) - Four Hancock County families are closer to getting back into their homes thanks to The Giving Circle. The volunteer group from Saratoga Springs, New York has made 16 trips to the Coast since Katrina to help people.

"Without the help of volunteers, we would have never come this far," Waveland resident Telli Adamietz said.

The help Adamietz is getting from the Giving Circle this week puts her goal of moving in by Christmas back on track.

"Without the volunteers, I wouldn't be standing where I'm at," Adamietz said.

Eleven Giving Circle volunteers from Philadelphia and New York are working to put four Katrina victims back into their homes. Since the storm, the organization has worked on more than 35 homes in the Bay-Waveland area.

Giving Circle board member Ron Maenza said, "The people need some help and we're in the position to help. The Giving Circle's motto, if you will, is communities helping communities."

"I just find it really sad that they've had to wait so long for some help," Giving Circle volunteer Mike Gyarmathy said.

Helping to rehab homes is just part of what the Giving Circle has done for the area. They've hosted giveaways for young mothers-to be, Easter egg hunts and Christmas toy giveaways for needy children, and mental health seminars for first responders and weary homeowners.

Ron Deutsch is President of the Giving Circle Board of Directors.

"We try to do events throughout the year to kind of raise awareness about what's happening down here, so we don't let folks forget. Folks down here certainly haven't forgotten and folks everywhere else seems to have forgotten," Deutsch said.

South Mississippians like Adamietz say they're grateful groups like the Giving Circle are reminding others that the post-Katrina need is still very real along the Gulf Coast.

"It's absolutely overwhelming. Mississippi would have never come back without the help that we have been given, and I have been blessed by God," Adamietz said.

The Giving Circle will send another round of volunteers to the Bay-Waveland area later this week.