GULFPORT, Miss. - Volunteers from Tennessee and Virginia spent Tuesday, Dec. 4 putting the finishing touches on a storm-damaged house on Second Street. They were among 6,500 volunteers, including hundreds of Hoosier United Methodists, who have been part of the Katrina Rebuilding Program at Trinity United Methodist Church in Gulfport.
"It's been overwhelming," said Carol Kawa, a volunteer from Kingsport, Tenn. "To go into homes that have been devastated, to help rebuild, to meet the homeowners, to see the gratitude on their faces, has just been a real moving experience."
"It has been an incredible opportunity for Trinity to be involved in the community, to open their hearts and doors and to truly make a difference in people's lives," said Courtney Allen, Rebuilding Program Coordinator for Trinity.
The rebuilding program at Trinity actually began days after Katrina, when the church fed more than 35,000 people in three weeks. After that, volunteers came to clean-up 700 homes and rebuild more than 640 houses.
On Dec. 5, almost two and a half years later, that extraordinary mission came to an end.
"This is the last official mission trip down here through Trinity Church," Kawa said. "It's very, very sad. It's been a very emotional time."