Our teams got to Mississippi today. Here are some of their first impressions. These are Yeshiva Students who have decided to take some time out of their studies to try to assist in relief for disaster victims.
One of them writes:
I would like to begin by expressing my amazement at the outlook and feelings of the people of Jackson and the evacuees we have encountered. The entire community in Jackson is working to house the evacuees; one family had 15 people staying with them! The positive mind-set of the evacuees is simply amazing. We came expecting to find them downhearted and dejected. Instead we have found the exact opposite that have all put a positive spin on things and are focused on showing appreciation to those who are helping as well as trying to help others. These are families who have lost their homes and nearly all their possessions, they have had close friends and family members who have died yet when we call their first reaction is to make sure we are taken care of. As one woman put it "if I wasn’t helping others I wouldn’t know what to do"!
Everyone we have met on the streets has been so helpful and appreciative of what we are doing and in truth of all the relief workers. My flight mainly consisted of relief workers, soldiers and members of the National Guard. The pilot made an announcement over the PA thanking all of the hurricane relief workers and soldiers. The announcement was met with a resounding round of applause. After the announcement every person seated in the First Class cabin (business men and women) came to the back and exchanged their seats with those of the soldiers as an expression of their appreciation for their work.
Late in the afternoon, after visiting several families (more on that later,) we had some trouble with out RV, and we brought it in to a service center, who, upon hearing what we were doing did the work for us for free, only charging us cost on the materials!