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Churches in Florida, Tennessee reach out to storm victims


DESTIN, FLA. — Lipscomb University Board of Trustees member James Allen and the Destin Church of Christ are leading an effort to provide funds to meet the daily living expenses of persons affected by Hurricane Katrina in the greater Gulfport-Biloxi areas.
Because so many individuals lost not only their homes but their jobs as well, few have enough available cash on hand to provide for daily necessities, Allen said.
The knowledge that checks may not be forthcoming from FEMA for as much as 60 days moved Destin church leaders to step into the gap. Allen is an elder at the church.
“We know from our own experiences with hurricanes Ivan and Dennis that hit in our general area that both FEMA and the insurance companies are not going to come up with any cash in the next three to four months, more than likely,” Allen said.
“We’re having a special collection this Sunday. We’ve challenged our small church of about 225 members to come up with $100,000,” Allen said.
The church is working with elderships the Mississippi Gulf Coast — Gulfport, Biloxi and Ocean Springs — which have already identified approximately 50 families who have lost their homes and are in the process of identifying others. The church plans to send $5,000 cash gifts to each of the families to help them through the interim until relief checks arrive, Allen said.
Persons wishing to assist should send checks to Destin Church of Christ earmarked to “hurricane victim relief” and mail them to the church at 150 Beach Road, Destin, FL 32541.
“One hundred percent of anything they give for this will go straight to victims. There’s no charge of any kind, and that has been very appealing as we’ve talked to a lot of folks about ways to help
“The needs are overwhelming,” he said.
Destin Church of Christ is a designated evacuation center now housing approximately 50 evacuees from New Orleans, Allen said. The church is working with Methodist and Baptist churches in the area to provide meals and shelter.
MEMPHIS, TENN. — Fourteen evacuees from New Orleans arrived Sept. 4 at “The Quince Shelter,” temporary housing in the building of the former Quince Road Church of Christ. Ken Dowdy, administrative minister for the White Station congregation and shelter leader, expects 20 more individuals before the end of the Labor Day weekend. The facility is currently equipped to house 50 people.
The 14 individuals were brought by a White Station member, whose neighbor had housed the three women and 11 children since the day before Katrina hit the Gulf Coast.
The children were enrolled in Memphis City Schools last week and will continue there after the Monday holiday.
The families were each assigned a classroom that had been equipped with mattresses, and each person received a box of person hygiene items. Dinner had been provided by members at the Highland Street congregation.
The shelter has been outfitted by donations from White Station, Highland Street, Quail Ridge, Sycamore View, and Ross Road congregations.

Filed under: National Staff Reports

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