Local family seeks help to rebuild south Mississippi

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 6, 2006

They heard stories about hearing his cars being tossed around in garage as the water kept them in motion. They heard about the trees washing up against his home and how he delivered his surplus of canned goods to people in the neighborhood on his bike. They were informed of how he was forced to live in the one room of his three-story home that didn’t get flooded during the hurricane. And they knew his neighbors had drowned in the flood.

His name was Charles and he lived in a FEMA trailer in his front yard in Bay Saint Louis, Miss.

Shortly before Christmas Steve and Trish Logan, a Demopolis couple, and their 15-year-old son made the decision to help with Hurricane Katrina disaster relief. Their task was to help Charles get his home back to a livable state by gutting it as they tore out the sheetrock, insulation and flooring.

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“It’s hard to put into words what we experienced, but I’ll try. It was an awesome time being around other committed Christians sacrificing their time and putting forth their effort to help others,” Logan said. “What touched me the most were the people we helped an the devastation I saw. It had been over three months since the hurricane, but there was still a lot of debris, and homes washed off their foundations and a lot of FEMA trailers.”

Now, as another group prepares to clean up the mess Katrina left behind, Trish Logan has made it her duty to call out for help.

After participating in a relief program called “8 Days of Hope,” Logan wants to do all she can to make sure the program reaches its goal of having more than 1,000 volunteers donate their time May 28 – June 3.

Northeast Mississippi resident Stephen Tybor III organized the program that repaired and refurbished 84 homes during their December visit.

“The program gets people from all over the country in an organized effort that centers on those who need help the most,” Logan said. “And anyone can be involved. He’s always looking for roofers and people who know how to put up shingles and drywall, but people with no experience can help too. All I did was gut the houses and I didn’t need skills for that.”

Since her December visit, Logan has been back to Mississippi on four occasions to help with repair efforts because she her “strong back and hearting heart” allows her to sympathize with victims of the storm.

“If your neighbor went through the hardship the people over there are facing, you would want to help them,” Logan said. “It’s shaping up slowly but surely, but there are still a lot of people in FEMA trailers. There are some places where there aren’t any houses anymore. The devastation was everywhere. This job will take years to complete.”

To make a donation or get more information on “8 Days of Hope,” visit www.8daysofhope.com.