OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (WLOX) - In the midst of the heavy rains and winds from Hurricane Zeta, Margaret Miller was also dealing with an electrical fire at her Ocean Springs home.
The flames would eventually burn the house down, leaving the former director of Ocean Spring’s Chamber of Commerce with nothing but memories.
However, some residents and businesses decided to step up to the plate, holding a donation drive at Courtney Farms.
“This is one little way just to let the community know how much we love you Margaret Miller and thank you for all that you’ve done in the community.” said current Ocean Springs Chamber Executive Director Cynthia Dobbs Sutton.
Friends and loved ones were asked to come with hand-written cards to lift Miller’s spirits, while also raising money to help her find a new home.
“She would never had accepted this had we told her ahead of time,” said Paige Riley, owner of Hillyer House. “So I made it public and did it and then told her about it.”
It’s an act of kindness toward someone the community said they owed a lot to.
“She really turned this sleepy little town into the dynamic, family-owned, successful downtown that it is today,” Riley said.
Organizers of the event wanted to show their support for Miller after her home was left in ruins, and they also wanted the donation drive to serve as a way to let her and her family know that they aren’t alone in their time of need.
“Our hearts are overwhelmed for her,” said Riley.
City leaders are also proud of the generosity shown.
“This just continues to show how much Ocean Springs takes care of their people.” Sutton said.
While the fund raising continues, they’re also offering Miller words of encouragement.
“I know this is not going to keep you down," Sutton said. "It’s going to keep you going.”
If you want to help Miller as she begins to rebuild her home, you can donate to the Margaret Miller Benefit at Hancock Bank or drop off cash, checks or gift cards at Courtney Farms or Hillyer House.