GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - The spirit of giving surrounds the congregation at St. Peter’s By-the-Sea.
The church gathered volunteers and funds for a trip to help clean up Beckwith Camp, the conference and center for the Episcopal Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast in Fairhope, Alabama.
“We’ve never had a need go unfunded or unmanned. Even at last minute like this.” said Rector Patrick Sanders.
Along with a workforce, the church gathered supplies for their relief trailer, a process they continue doing after 14 years of natural disasters.
The trailer was bought as a way to service communities in need, something that other churches and faith groups did along South Mississippi following Hurricane Katrina.
Deacon Scott Williams said “A couple came to me and said, why don’t we just get a trailer and put all kinds of material in it, from chainsaws to power tools and generators, compressors - where we can just go in and if we need to start putting tarps on roofs or whatever has to be done.”
Members of the church said this type of kindness is important right now, especially during the economic and financial hardships brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“They are good servants, to use one of my terms.” said Williams.
St. Peter’s volunteers also geared up to help other Episcopal congregations hit by the storm, so that more outreach and service could be done for people in need.
“I think it’s vital that we get them back to fighting weight so that they can then in turn, turn around and help the people in their communities that are affected.” said Sanders.
With a month left of hurricane season, St. Peter’s will be ready to respond wherever they’re needed.
“They are just so quick to go, ‘Yup, I’m going to do that for them too.’ Because we live in a place where storms happen.” said Sanders.
If you want to help with relief efforts, visit St. Peter’s by-the-Sea’s website.