Local residents extend a hand to Mississippi victims

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 7, 2005

DEMOPOLIS – Two Demopolis residents recently traveled to the Mississippi coast to deliver much needed donations and aid to Hurricane Katrina victims.

On two independent occasions, Dr. Judy Travis of the Travis Clinic in Demopolis and Susan Thomason, a nurse at Bryan Whitfield Memorial Hospital, delivered loads of supplies, including medicine and first aid, to coastal residents.

Travis took a Suburban-full of supplies, including antibiotics, rescue inhalers, blood pressure medication, three small stoves, propane tanks, Ensure, bread, oranges, ice, gasoline and a variety of necessary toiletry items.

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Her first stop was Biloxi, where she found a great deal of volunteers and rescue workers already on the scene. Travis said National Guardsmen, State Troopers, Alabama Power workers and others were everywhere.

She visited Biloxi High School, which is now a shelter. Travis took her medical supplies to the pharmacy that is set up at the high school.

The supplies she brought doubled the pharmacy’s available supply.

According to Travis, other hard-hit areas, such as Pass Christian and Bay St. Louis, are in much greater need of assistance.

Thomason visited some of those harder-hit areas with her husband, Reggie Thomason, daughter, Pamela Click, and son-in-law, Chris Click.

The crew delivered a van-load of food, diapers, formula, some medical supplies and other necessities.

Mrs. Thomason said her parents both live on the Mississippi coast, so her main objective was to help her parents.

She and her family gave their donations to residents in the more rural communities that were devastated by the hurricane. Mrs. Thomason said they initially went door to door asking if people needed certain items, but ultimately they gave a large portion of the donations to the Saucier Fire Department.

Both women, Travis and Thomason, said the victims were honest about their need. “If people didn’t need something, they would tell us who needed it more,” Thomason said.

Travis said that those people who were affected by the hurricane are really pulling together. She said politics and race are not an issue to the people on the Mississippi coast.