Evacuees thankful for Meridian hospitality

MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - As hurricane evacuees staying in our area start to make their way back home, many are saying thank you for the kindness they've received while here.

The "Meridian Helps Them Home" effort has seen more donations come in than they've been able to hand out. Daniel Clearwater of Clearwater, Fla. says the generosity he's seen while here has been incredible.

"It's been an amazing experience since we got here. It's been amazing," Clearwater says. It just does your heart good to see how kind these people have been. It really does. I just have to say to the town of Meridian, y'all are blessed."

He says his first morning in Meridian, numerous people from Evangel Temple approached him offering to pay for his breakfast and give him money. Since then, other churches have approached him looking for ways to help and offering gift baskets with supplies.

Clearwater is an evangelist in Florida, and he's been busy trying to spread the Lord's message during his time here, as well. He hands out crosses that say "Jesus Christ is Lord" to anyone he meets.

"This is a cross ministry that comes out of St. Petersburg, Fla.," he explains. "I've given out 700 just in the last few days."

Clearwater says the kindness he's been shown will leave a resounding impact.

"My wife and I, she's retired and I'm semi-retired," he says. "We were talking about places to live. I can tell you right now, Meridian's on that list."

Volunteers are still offering supplies to evacuees until 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Northeast Conference Center on Highway 11 & 80. Any leftover items will be sent to Florida.