Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Moving Finger Writes....

Few in Pearlington have been so dedicated as former head teacher at Charles B. Murphy school, Jeanne Brooks. Jeanne needs our help.

She sends this:

"If possible could you put out a request for some help here at the "new and improved" school site? KaBoom is putting in a badly needed playground here on October 28th and we need some help. The 26th and 27th are prep days and the 28th is the actual install. If there are any volunteers in Pearlington that week that would like to help, we would be so grateful! I'll give you more information if you need it, but you can use my email address or the number here at the school for a contact. Thanks so much!"

228 467-4655

Let’s help Jeannie and KaBoom get ‘er done!

Another dedicated resident of Pearlington is Dallas Trammel. Dallas provided me with much needed community support back in the fall of last year, when I was managing the Recovery Center. Her willingness and hard work were invaluable. This year, she has been volunteering at the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance Camp and has proven to be just as invaluable there. She is well-respected by the Volunteer Community in Pearlington and has asked for very little in return.

Charles Holmes, the esteemed leader of Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, has taken up her banner. He reports that he has been able to secure a significant amount of material for her rebuild and has applied for grants on her behalf. "The material I purchased should get all walls standing, A shingled roof, and because of a donation of material I THINK will be forthcoming, we can insulate the house. I can still use electrical, plumbing, material.... Cross your fingers, talk to the MAN, lets "git-er-done."

If you can assist in any way in getting Dallas and her family back in their home, please contact Charlie Holmes at:


Today you will find a new link located on the right panel. It is to a great web site built and managed by Kathleen Johnson, that shares some excellent information about the local county and state big picture concerning Katrina recovery. I encourage all to check it out frequently.

Kathleen’s site is located here.

On October 19, the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the Mississippi Center for Justice, and the Mississippi Center for Legal Services will be conducting a community workshop to provide free on-site legal assistance to Hurricane Katrina survivors. The workshop will be held in the Mississippi Center for Justice Building at 974 Division Street, Biloxi, MS from 4:00-7:00 pm and will cover a multitude of issues facing survivors, such as filing a FEMA appeal, landlord-tenant disputes, insurance claims, housing vouchers, home repair, and mortgage forbearance and foreclosure.

Volunteer attorneys will be present at the workshop to answer any questions participants may have through one-on-one consultations. Participants are encouraged to ask any disaster relief-related questions at the workshop and should bring all paperwork related to their questions, including identification, letters from FEMA, lender information, insurance documents, Social Security information, total household annual income, current address, pre-hurricane address, personal contact information, description of losses as a result of the disaster, lease agreements, and rent receipts. Please e-mail me here for a copy of the flyer and directions to the Mississippi Center for Justice Biloxi office. You may also contact Denise Antoine at (228) 435-7284 if you have any questions, at:

(228) 435-7285 - Fax

Last, and by no means least, Brittany Overbeck sends this, as spokeswoman for the newest member of C.O.D.R.A.:

"Our team was honored to work in Pearlington in April, through the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance program. All told, we worked on 4 or 5 different homes that week, mucking out and hanging drywall. We all felt like we left a part of ourselves in Pearlington.

Since being home we have continued to send items and gift cards to people in Pearlington, written articles for our local papers, given talks about our experience to church and school groups, and are planning on returning in December to "continue the journey". We are constantly coming into contact with people who know about Pearlington, have been there or have heard of the struggles of this amazing town.

We know that God is doing amazing work in Pearlington and are privileged and humbled to be a small part of that work. We strive to keep Pearlington in the forefront of our minds and hearts in the coming years."

Everyone, have a great week!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Weather or Knot....

Warren Tidwell, a young man from Alabama, has several passions: his wife and family, politics, the weather and Pearlington.

He and I have combined the last two (and who knows, maybe the first two, as well) and created a weather blog for Pearlington.

On this site, Warren will dispense what has always been for me balanced, thoughtful, non-alarmist trend prediction concerning storms brewing in the world that might threaten Pearlington.

It will be informative, instructional and timely.

Please visit Warren's Weather Wisdom at:

Your comments would be appreciated and may be posted on the site itself. I have also added a link to the right for your convenience.

Please also note that Laurie Spaschak has sent an updated Current Needs List for the Pearl*Mart, which is available at:

I have also updated the standing link to the right, under "Downloadable .pdf Files"

Have a great weekend, all!

"Canada Jon"

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Update from the Pearlington Recovery Center

Good morning, all. Laurie Spaschak sends this:

We have a new long term Office assistant to help with volunteer coordination and office management. Bob Paschal is coming in Oct 15th. He will live onsite and has been working with St. Rose De Lima DRO for the last 5 months and comes highly recommended. We have another long term volunteer coming in Oct 11th from Williamstown, Mass; her name is JoEllen and she will be taking the case management training in November and will be working with us to help with assisting the residents with many aspects of the their recovery.

We have a couple, Zeke & Debbie, who used to be with Disaster Corp that have come to stay for a while and will help with camp management and cooking. We have also had a tremendous amount of help lately from several in the community here at the Pearl*Mart: Sheila Jordan, Shirley Thompson, Rosa Jackson, Stacy Bennett, and Marty Ritter and others of the school kids as well.

Four Square Disaster Relief has closed up camp and returned home. Kudos and deep gratitude to the Elliotts for a year of fantastic contribution to the Coast!

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) has new management - more info on that later.

Pickin’ Up the Pieces, the Amish and the Catholic Diocese are also working to rebuild homes here in Pearlington.

Glenn Locklin's church has partnered with him to take over and continue One House at A Time projects.

We have had a recent HUGE donation of insulation from Knauf. Two 18-wheelers full and it is allowing us to help over 20 families so far and still going. This was unloaded and delivered to sites with a lot of help from local folks too: Lester Dell and his boys, Toby Earle, Jimmy Smith, and Mike, Gregg and their crew from Walls of Hope.

We are looking forward to the return of Larry Charbonneau, Jennifer Johnson and other of our favorites from the past - they will be coming in this weekend.

We still have openings in November and December for any who wish to come and help.

It continues to be a successful combined effort of all groups and residents here in Pearlington!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Back in the Saddle....

I am still awaiting further updates from the ground in Pearlington, so let’s start here:

I have made some changes to the Pearlington Report Card blog, as well as this one, and will use it now to post reports from members of C.O.D.R.A. returning from work on the ground. This will allow others to see what you are accomplishing and answer the call to support your work on behalf of the people of Pearlington and offer help in the form of donations, time and labor.

Two reports have been issued today - please check them out at:

Nell Nation, of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Mississippi is putting out an urgent call for volunteers. Please contact Charles Holmes, on site in Pearlington, at 601-310-2323 for dates and what YOU can do to make a big difference!

This just in from Jennifer Johnson:

"The BRICK Layers of Huntsville, AL will be travelling to Pearlington, MS for their 15th mission trip. Joining us this time will be Trinity Methodist Church from Huntsville, Flint River Baptist Church from Hazel Green, AL, and Bill and Colleen’s group from Livingston, TN. We will meet up with Larry Charbonneau’s group from Houston, TX.

We will continue construction on over 20 homes as well as doing some landscaping. We hope to put the finishing touches on the Ladner house that we started building from the ground up in June. We will also be landscaping the entrance to the Oak Harbor Subdivision in memory of Capt. Harry Bell. We also hope to have a special time of praise and worship on the beach to thank God for all that He has blessed us with this past year."

C.O.D.R.A. would like to welcome today a new member of our Coalition: Felton Presbyterian Church Mississippi Team. Thanks to Brittany Overbeck for her efforts in spearheading the decision to join us and please check out their site at:

Also, one of our Founding Members, Tom Dalessandri and his colleagues and volunteers from Carbondale, CO have also slightly renamed their group and created a very beautiful web site.

Please check out The Pearlington Project: Mountains to Mississippi at:

John Chickering sends a link to a very interesting blog, by Mississippi Public Broadcasting:

And finally, on a very happy note, Laurie Spaschak at the Pearlington Recovery Center reports that: "Denise Swanson's daughter had a baby girl (2 months early) last Thursday, Sept 28th. Her name is Cadence Alexa and she is doing fine. She is small but healthy and Mom is doing very well, too."

More to come soon....

Thanks for being my Pearlington Family in our time of need for support and prayers.

God Bless,
Jon White

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Coming Soon to a Blog Near YOU....


Look for a new posting to our Pearlington Blog shortly!

"Canada Jon"