Blankets for Biloxi - An Urgent Need
Today, in the middle of December, tens of thousands of people are huddling in tent cities or trailers or cars in the Gulf Coast of this country. In Mississippi on August 29th, 65,000 buildings were destroyed and 65,000 were damaged; in one of the counties every single car was destroyed. During the summer, the residents of this area were working and taking care of their families and today most of them are cold and broke.
The people of Mississippi are a proud people. For the last 3 years in a row, although they have the lowest per capita income in the country, they have donated the highest percent of their income to charitable giving and they don't ask for handouts easily.
We were told about this by Steve Richer, Executive director of Mississippi's Gulf Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau. He has transformed the nature of his work over the last 3½ months and has been totally immersed in getting help for the people of his state. Steve called because he heard that Lion Brand was looking for a location where our readers could send donations to help keep those who lost their homes in Hurricane Katrina warm in this cold weather. As we spoke he was driving in his car through police barricades near the beach. "It is hard to imagine the devastation down here. This is the worst natural disaster in the history of the United States. All we can do is keep people warm and healthy and get them back to work. A few nights ago, we had a terrible rain and the temperature was 30 degrees. Imagine you are a mother with two children, living in a tent under these conditions. It is mind-blowing. People are not getting the help that they need fr om the government. They are getting vital assistance from faith based organizations and private individuals."
A recent editorial in the local paper, the Sun Herald has these words from the people of Mississippi:
We are here. Do not forsake us.
We are no footnote.
And one more thing...
Thank you. To every out-of-state volunteer, to every friend and family member who has sent supplies or prayers, we sincerely thank you.
And we ask that you do one more thing: Call your senators and your congressional representative and ask them to support additional aid for South Mississippi's recovery.
Lion Brand is asking our loving knitters and crocheters to help. Blankets are desperately needed. Prayer shawls and any other means of helping keep people warm are welcome. You can use our printable prayer shawl cards or Lion Brand Art cards to attach a personal note to the items you send. A hand-made donation will mean a lot! If you send blankets, please send those that are warm and clean. For the next 2 months warmth is crucial. If you don't have a gift to send now, it will be welcomed when you have finished it, especially in January. Here is the address to ship to:
The Fox Den
c/o Mr. Randy May
2nd Street @ Menge Ave.
Pass Christian, MS 39571