Kudos to Barbara Shelly for bringing to light the continued struggle for the communities in Mississippi affected by Katrina (3/9, Opinion, “Volunteers toil, but the Gulf is still a mess”).
All we hear about is the destruction in New Orleans. These smaller communities were hit harder than anywhere. Many are not even on the map any more, figuratively speaking.
I remain leery of federal assistance, which, months after the storm, had $850 million worth of FEMA trailers sitting idle in Arkansas.
It seems the grateful people in that area are dependent upon the many volunteers Shelly mentioned, from churches such as mine, to Scout troops, clubs and “mom and pop”-sized organizations.
I saw firsthand how these volunteers are doing more than the federal government could ever do, through physical and emotional presence, not to mention the selfless giving of money, time and supplies.
I disagree that “only the federal government is big enough to step in and get the job done,” and I’d bet the wonderful citizens of these small communities would also disagree.
The need continues to be huge and will be for years to come.
St. Thomas Episcopal Church member