A Nation Responds

From New York City to the Midwest and beyond, help is coming to Mississippi and Louisiana victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Churches and communities across the country, along with firefighters who experienced first-hand the devastation of 9-11, are all working now on a common goal, helping those still suffering at the hands of Hurricane Katrina.

Baptists are banding together to get necessities to the people of Biloxi. Friends from Indiana brought in two trucks Thursday to the Lauderdale Baptist Association in Marion, Miss.

"We believe strongly in the faith-based thing that President Bush is trying to put to us. People helping people," said Don Carnahan of Carlisle, Indiana. "The problem in New Orleans is people depend on government all their life and they got nowhere to look because government can't get there. God sent us."

"People wanting to give and do stuff and communities were organizing efforts and we put the word out on this Friday. Collected two semi-loads. We feel well blessed to get to do it," said John Gregg of Sandborn, Indiana.

In conjunction with other churches in south Mississippi, these items will get to the people who need them.

Dave Walker from Odessa, Missouri, used his company's truck to haul in donated water, diapers, even some toys, to Newton County. He says he just wanted to help.

"There's just so many people in the Midwest that everybody wants to help, wants to help," Walker said. "You know, they want to do more than give money. You think you've done so much until you get there and you see how much there is, how much devastation there has been or what-have-you. And you feel like it's just a drop in the bucket."

Walker also volunteered in this way in 2001 after terrorists struck New York City. And firefighters there have not forgotten the response they saw. A contingent stopped for fuel and repairs in Meridian Thursday on the way to New Orleans.

"We had our bad time back in 9/11/01 and the whole country turned out. Most of the world turned out to help us out," said Chief John Rokee, FDNY Brooklyn. "And you know it's our turn to pay back and we're happy to do it."

The New York Fire Department is taking generators, tools, diesel fuel and a fire truck that Louisiana donated to them four years ago.


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