Wednesday, January 18, 2006

A meeting with the Mayor...

Wow, what a day. Just when things look bad, suddenly there's the silver lining, today was one of those days here at Camp Second Helpin'. We have been waiting for our own power source since day one, and after general comments made by the owner, we began to worry all over again. So after talking it was decided that a few of us should go to the Mayor's office and try to see him and find out for ourselves. On the way there Tarl asks if we have an appointment, or had we made any call? After being told no, he doubted that we would get very far, and I told him "We don't need an appointment,all we have faith and that's all we needed." For I truly believe that if your on the right path in life, then the things that need to happen, will. That's what happened today. We all figured on camping for a few hours in a waiting room, but that's not how it went. We go in and walk up to the receptionists desk just as Tommy Lango steps out of his office and hears our request to speak to him, and accepts personally.We went in and explained to him what we have come back to do with our community center, and our difficulty in getting power, and we also told him that we wanted to make sure that we really were wanted here.The first thing he did was assure us that we are very much wanted, and needed here. He also told us he would personally make a call about our power today. We also spoke to him of our wishes to actually find a building to clean and refurbish for a permanent community center, and he made mention of a building that would be perfect for the project, for now I won't say which building, until he has talked to which ever committees that would have to approve, but needless to say, we left feeling extremely positive. I have to say that Tom Lango is a very down to earth, realistic easy to talk to person, it was refreshing to meet a politician that actually had a real picture of what's important to meet the needs of the people that he's been elected to serve.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Dressing up for George Bush...

We had a great day today. The president came back to Waveland to assess the damage, so we thought that we would go make a presence of peace and love. First we closed our doors for lunch, and dressed in our finest and brightest, and made up signs of WE LOVE WAVELAND, Wemissed you, and We're Back...Our statement...Even when the government doesn't come through, the hippies know when they are still needed...With actions, not words... It was a Beautiful sight even if I do say so myself...We spent the morning making our signs and dressing, then headed to the beach. We ended up having to take a few different roads until we found an old man that let us through one of the blockades. Down at the Morrel foundation is where we ended up, and it wasn't long before we heard the choppers, but it took nearly 4 minutes until we saw them. The first one went straight to the landing pad as the second one circled over our heads, extremely low, so up went our arms and signs, as everyone around us cheered. Even if your not a fan of Bush it was pretty exciting...Soon both choppers were on the ground, and it wasn't long before we saw the brigade turn onto the road and head our way...By this point we're jumping and waving our hands and signs, and as he passed we could see him leaning toward the window and pointing in our direction, but then he was gone and we waved to the entire brigade, many waved back and we even had a few give us the peace sign...Afterward we walked along the beach with the kids and gathered a few shells to take back to camp. If George Bush saw some of what I saw today as we searched for an open road, the beach is so clean in comparison, It looks untouched by human hands since the storm, but it's too much to hope that he would truely understand the devistation, I wonder if he see's what I see, third word America, feeling lost and forgotten...I am honored to know and help such strong spirits, as they rebuild their lives and homes...Returning home we discover dinner had been delivered, homemade beef stew and lots of fresh produce...So we had a cookless day today and still served...Say prayers for the talk about serving tents...Things are pulling together....

Monday, January 09, 2006

Camp Second Helpin'

Hello everyone…Greetings from Camp Second Helpin’ in Hancock county, Mississippi, just outside of Waveland. For those that don’t know, after the New Waveland Café’ closed down and many of the crew moved to St. Bernard’s Parish, some of the family was asked to return to Hancock county to help for a longer timeframe, 6 months to a year at least. So a small crew came back to begin a community center, which is what they need the most. The word from locals is that people felt lost when the hippies left, and that it wasn’t the food that was the issue, but what we offered them in spirit, faith and hope. We were brought back by a clearinghouse organization called Mississippi’s Forgotten, whom signed a 6-month lease (with option to renew) with a local storeowner for a 2-acre lot. We are still in the process of building, with help from Mississippi’s Forgotten, Emergency Communities, and Action Hero Network, but mostly from the locals that survived Hurricane Katrina. There are still many things we need before we are a community center, we have yet to get our hands on a good dining tent, table and chairs, and those are just a few… What we need most is more hands and donations; we have just filed for non-profit status as of today and are getting our own address. The people liked ‘the hippies’ so much they asked for a Second Helpin’, so here we are. We will have a communications center, family rec area, a medical clinic, two meals a day, dinner & supper, evening entertainment from live music to movies on a big screen, to Sunday picnics to talent shows, and social dances. These are just a few of the things we a working towards, but we need good strong hands and hearts, these peoples fight has just begun, and now that time has past the reality is sinking in, and we need to show them how to carry on, give them a place to get away from “the destruction of our lives” as quoted from a local gentleman, so that they can face life in those FEMA trailers, which are so much better then tent life, but still not much better then anything but sleeping in. At this point we feed between 70 and 100 people a day, and that’s just word of mouth, because with no place to sit people we are still serving in togo mode. We are also hoping to have enough volunteers that work crews can be sent out to help with the rebuilding. At this time though we are a skeleton crew of 10, with our two youths from Colorado leaving in six days. This is just the beginning and the road is long, so I ask that anyone who can find a way to spare a few days, or weeks, or months, hey, even a few hours would be wonderful. The things we need the most are more volunteers, but various donations are need too. Like I mentioned earlier we are still searching for large tents for serving and dining, also tables and chairs. We have also are still trying to find consistent food suppliers, at this time phones have been an issue, when I tried to get one they were asking for a $500 down payment, and since I don’t get a pay check, I didn’t have it, but we are still trying. We do finally have our first of many computers on line, with the rest to follow by weeks end, And the big projector is suppose to come tomorrow. Again I ask, please come and lend a hand, at this time we are working 15 hour days or longer and are spread pretty thin. We are tired but strong in spirit, knowing that the locals want us back so much that they are building it one ladle at a time, it is truly inspiring. We could never be the New Waveland Café’, but we don’t want to be…It would be like a remake of the Wizard of OZ, it just couldn’t be done, Magic like that can only happen once, but it can inspire many new sparks of magic, like the Made With Love Kitchen in St. Bernard’s Parish, and us here at Camp Second Helpin’, and Common Grounds, and Welcome Home in New Orleans. So let’s keep the magic alive, these people need it so much, but so do we. If at all possible we need spices and herbal remedies, canned goods, canned meats, fresh produce, cooking oils, flour, soy and rice milks, MULLIEN, water, ice, tables, chairs, tents of all sizes, blankets, coats, rain gear, tarps, rope, axes, maul, splitter, bookshelves, plastic tubs, tools, books, A RAINBOW FLAG, costumes, fire wood from above the flood line, plywood, a tub, coffee, teas, just to name a few. Our mailing address is 6161 W. Desodo, Bay St. Louis, Mississippi,39520 We would also like to thank the Davis Family Store for making all of this possible, They have been the hero’s of many people, without them many would not have survived after the storm.
For directions e-mail me or Ron at: