The "Powers" of One....
When I was in grade school, I used to hear stories about missionaries going to Africa helping needy people and dream about doing it. When I was in my 20’s, I thought it was a great idea to see how many different jobs I could have. It seems like Pearlington has provided both!
In my 2 trips there so far (Nov-Dec, May-June), I have helped with shed building, water pump assembly, brick wall removal, vinyl siding installation, mucking out houses, sheetrock mudding, data entry, community needs survey, pulling nails, library moving, listening, helping people with paperwork, yard clean-up, follow-up on requests, matching needs to volunteer skills. Who knows what the next trip will bring?
It’s been a mix: blood, sweat and tears, hugs and laughter, bad smells (who can forget the 3 month old shrimp?) and magnolia perfume, despair and hope, frustration and moving forward, total destruction and signs of healing and growth, witnessing struggles and unbelievable dedication of volunteers from far and wide, seeing neighbours help each other.
When I drove alone from Midland, Ontario to Pearlington in November ‘05, I had no idea what I would be doing, only that I had to go and do something to help. I was soon busy working with the Dog Soldiers MDI from Atlanta building sheds. They were an inspiration in the respectful teamwork among themselves and the other individuals who had joined their project. The reaction of the 6’x8’ shed recipients was as if they had won the lottery, astounding in our world of excess.
In working on a door-to-door needs survey, I met many people, saw their bewilderment and shock, and heard their stories, gave hugs and shared tears, and started handing out my "Pearlington chicks", pincushions that I was sewing in the evenings. These brought smiles to even the most troubled faces.
Learning how to assemble water pumps with Water Missions International was my next activity. These were so desperately needed in order to get a FEMA trailer. Professional installers from Atlanta made sure that the hook-up was done and worked long hours to do so. One of them asked for a chick pincushion and the fundraising idea was born - pincushions for donations!
So when I’m not in Pearlington, I do fundraising through my "Pearlington Chicks", and send the money to Parkway Presbyterian. It is 100% used for rebuild material through the Dog Soldiers for needy people in Pearlington. If you would like to donate, write a cheque in your country’s currency to:
Parkway Presbyterian, with "MDI" in the memo line.
Mail it to: Don Dollar, 43 Sycamore Station Decatur, GA 30030 USA. Receipts are provided.
Let’s keep the recovery moving ahead. Every bit helps. We can do it!
Midland, Ontario, Canada