An email from my friend helping to head up some relief work in Mississippi. I can vouch for the legitimacy of the donation collection so please consider donating if you can! If you'd like to use a debit or credit card to send Mannatech products (listed below) let me know and I can have them shipped straight to Dr. Kelley for distribution.
This is Dr. Karen Kelley with a call for help to our Mannatech family for
assisting us in the Katrina Disaster Relief Effort on the Gulf Coast.
We know many of you have donated to the Red Cross, Salvation Army,
churches, and other worthy organizations for this relief effort, however
most of the funds are focusing on the New Orleans area while tens of
thousands of hungry, homeless and the hopeless in neighboring Mississippi
are in desperate need as well.
We are located in Foley, Alabama, 2 hours away from Biloxi, Gulfport and
Waveland, MS where the major part of the destruction hit. I am heading up
a disaster relief group in our area working with Phoenix Disaster Relief,
The Christian Life Church at Orange Beach, AL, the police and fire
departments as well as United Way, Catholic Charities, local churches,
volunteers and the Red Cross Shelter in our area to provide housing and
shelter for the thousands of refugees from the ravaged areas.
The group of volunteers (many are Mannatech Associates) are loading
eighteen wheelers daily with needed supplies and convoying with police
escort into Mississippi to a vacant K-Mart shopping center lot in Waveland
to feed over three thousand people three meals a day at this drop off
FEMA and The Red Cross are not yet in place here and may not be here for
weeks. No showers, no tents, no port-a-potty’s, no gas, no electricity and
often no cell phone reception. Our group and other churches are providing
the majority of the needed support. There is a mobile hospital unit in
place from North Carolina and one on the way from Pensacola. Their first
patient yesterday was a yellow lab puppy.
I am working with the Humane Society in Gulfport, MS who lost all of their
medical supplies, food, some buildings and many animals died. The rest
were evacuated to about 90 other shelters and a huge clean up effort is
underway to repair the facility to receive incoming pets from New Orleans
These people have lost everything. There are 15-20 people in many cases
huddled in one home here and there with roofs and walls missing or camped
out on blankets, in cars and tents on the K-Mart parking lot.
Many in New Orleans refuse to leave their homes because shelters do not
allow pets and they will not leave their pets. We need temporary homes for
these people and their pets or at least for their pet, so they can get to
shelters as they become available. Many residents of Foley and other
Alabama cities are offering their homes to the flood of refugees into the
Because the large retail chains like Wal-Mart, Walgreen’s, Winn Dixie, and
ect… have donated at the corporate level, the local stores are unable to
make donations of goods. So our local groups are purchasing the needed
items and delivering them to their church drop off points were they are
loaded into trucks for transport to Mississippi.
I am accompanying many of these trips and coordinating community volunteer
efforts and will continue to do so for the next six months or longer if
We are requesting for any support from our “Manna-Family” that you are able
to give. Yesterday I purchased every can opener, baby bottle and
bottlebrushes in 10 stores just from donations we received from our family,
friends and volunteers to take to Mississippi.
The stores in our community are re-stocking daily to keep up with the
We are asking not to send food, clothing or other items for the shipping
costs would be better spent on purchasing these items locally on an as
needed bases, as I receive the calls daily from the relief team as to what
is needed for that day.
I procured today a 49-foot refrigeration truck for use that needs to be
filled with fresh food, ice, water and etc. Anyone who can actually travel
to the area and volunteer their skills contact The Christian Life Church at
251-967-4840. Please be advised that you will have to make arrangements
for housing while not at the relief site. The church will transport you to
our relief site for a three day period for each group(you may stay longer
if you like). We need nurses, teachers, counselors, cooks, food servers
and volunteers just to cut up veggies. We also need folks to unload
trucks, comfort the people and transport them to and from the meal and
relief site, etc.
The products, that would be most helpful are:
Empact for the volunteers and refugees
Cash donations are desperately needed and of course, send Prayers.
Please send your donations made payable to:
Disaster Assistance Fund
C/O Dr Karen Kelley
10200 County Road 65 South
Foley, AL 36535
Your canceled check will be your tax-deductible receipt.
God Bless You All,
Dr. Karen Kelley