GCN Exclusive Report

It is so hard to show the strength that compassion brings to an area after a major disaster. But we will try. Take the following submission from Mark Proulx, has been covering Hancock County for GCN - Editor.

Waveland – Behind The Scenes Heroes

By Mark Proulx - Special to GCN 

You know how you receive emails that touch your hearts?  This email came from one of Waveland’s “sister” cities - Northbrook, IL, and the group KARING.  It touched Kathy Pinn so much that she forwarded it to me for GCN.

Submitted by Kathy Pinn, Donations Coordinator

City of Waveland, 335 Coleman Avenue, Waveland, MS 39576,

228-467-4134 or 467-3425

There have been thousands of people who have reached out to Waveland.  some with a single generous gesture and some that just keep on giving...there are some many of the "keep on giving kind" that they make it almost impossible for me to be crabby!!! 

Thank you, thank you, thank you. 

Please read the attached, it will bless you as much as it has blessed us.

Kathy
 


”Dear Kathy,

As many of you know I have been working with a group in the area called KARING.  KARING was formed as a response to the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina.
 
The one year anniversary is coming up on August 29th.
 
KARING was established and 501C3 status applied for. 

Progress is being made in Waveland.  Things are being built, groups are there volunteering and it is also becoming apparent that the rebuilding process will take years. 

Several trips have been taken to the area. We have gutted houses, cleared property, ripped off roofs, adopted dogs, cleaned beaches, rocked babies, answered phones and slept in FEMA trailers. I even got to go to the yacht club.

On our last trip 26 of us age 11 to 75 (young at heart and effort) held a week long day camp for almost 100 kids. We took the older kids canoeing, bowling, for a walk, to a  local water park and organized a mean game of basketball.  The younger kids kept busy with crafts, games and art projects.  All this was done in the almost 100 degree heat. 

Some of our volunteers tore off a tin roof and cleaned out a house that had not been touched since the storm. The memories of that week will stick with all of us that have traveled to Waveland for a long time.
Several fundraisers have taken place, including:

knitting lessons
school bake sales and concerts
bar/bat mitzvah projects
church collections and a garden seminar
sidewalk sale to sell pottery brought back from Waveland
and a wonderful concert 

This coming year is filled with the same excitement. In the next week we are sponsoring the food at a Ferris Buehler outside movie night and selling fresh roasted corn.

In April a 57" foot trailer was sent to Waveland packed with computers and furniture.

A 2nd truck is going to Waveland with school desks, fans and animal supplies.

We are outfitting the schools with new computers  and books.

We have sponsored a Easter egg hunt and are looking forward to Wavefest in the fall.

We are raising  money for a $100,000 donation to the city to help defray the costs of  rebuilding the community center.  Our $100,000 will enable the town to get a $1,000,000 grant.

Our next trip in October will revolve around helping the women of Waveland who work in the city or with the chamber.  We will be providing hair cuts, manicures and massages.  We will also be hosting a special creative memories workshop for an evening.

There are so many other things that have been done or are in the process but I feel the most important thing to come out of all of this is the friendships and experiences I have had.  Almost anything I have asked to get done has been done and I have met the greatest people both in this area and in Waveland. 
 
 In February, Northbrook baseball donated a fancy red tractor lawn mower to Waveland Parks and Recreation. (pretty much one guy).He was clearing the baseball fields of debris by hand.  He was mowing with an old push mower.  He lost everything he owned in the flood but he was determined to get the ball season up and running. 

Because of that donation another father in town got to coach his sons baseball team. 

When we were in Waveland in June we rented a bouncy thing or moon walk.  When the owner came to deliver it he had 3 on his truck.  As I walked up to him I was wondering how I was going to pay for all of that fun. I introduced myself and he asked if we were the group that had provided the lawn mower for the ball teams.  I told him that we had and he said because of that donation his son got to play ball and he would like to pay it forward with a donations of 3 moonwalks for the week. 

This is only one example of how things have been working for KARING.  It is the  most amazing thing.
 
We could always use help both here and in Waveland if you are interested in lending your talent please let me know. No talent is too little or unneeded.
 
Please forward this email to anyone you know that would like to know more about what is going on in Waveland.   
 
Have a great summer!”
 
Barb 
KARING
3610 Dundee Road
Northbrook, Il 60062
(847)800-6973 
www.KARING.org