From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Cause for Thanksgiving: CWS and Local Churches Help Gulf

From "Lesley Crosson" <>
Date Thu, 17 Nov 2005 19:36:53 -0500

Cause for Thanksgiving: CWS and Local Congregations Help Gulf Hurricane
Survivors get a Fresh Start

November 17, 2005 - Partnerships between local congregations and refugee
resettlement agencies are key to the support Church World Service is
providing in 10 states to people displaced by the Gulf hurricanes.

The humanitarian agency is working with its Miami office and eight of its
local resettlement affiliates around the country to provide comprehensive,
individualized services to Gulf Coast residents who have relocated to
their communities.

Resettlement agencies train participating congregations on ways to provide
moral and material support help uprooted people as they recover their
dignity and self-sufficiency in new communities, whether their stay
ultimately is short or long.

Giving priority to people most in need, the Church World Service (CWS)
program is helping hurricane evacuees sort out the myriad disaster relief
programs; find jobs, health care, and affordable housing and furnishings;
get their children enrolled in school, and orient themselves to their new

"This privately funded program takes the professional case management and
congregational co-sponsorship model that CWS uses to help refugees -
people fleeing persecution in their home countries for safety in the
United States - and applies it to help meet the particular needs of
Americans displaced by the Gulf hurricanes," says Erol Kekic, associate
director of the CWS Immigration and Refugee Program.

Every year, Church World Service serves tens of thousands of refugees,
immigrants, and asylum seekers with case processing, resettlement,
chaplaincy, legal, and other services.

National church bodies that support the CWS Immigration and Refugee
Program stepped forward with special funding for the hurricane evacuees,
and additional money is being raised through public appeals for funds to
support a broad CWS program of assistance to Gulf hurricane survivors.
CWS/IRP participating denominations are American Baptist Churches in the
USA, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Christian Reformed Church,
Presbyterian Church (USA), Reformed Church in America, United Church of
Christ, and The United Methodist Church.

Here are some examples site-by-site of what has happened so far:

Interfaith Refugee & Immigration Ministries (IRIM) in Chicago, IL, is one
of the CWS affiliates providing assistance to hurricane evacuees. Kelley
Johnson of IRIM's evacuee assistance program said she assesses clients'
needs, matches them with congregational sponsors, and gives "follow-up
support for current sponsors who are working with cases needing more
high-volume case management attention."

Her responsibilities also include participating in state-level conversations about the long-term recovery process. Around the edges, she also may
find herself coordinating furniture delivery to an evacuee's new apartment, aiding other agencies with contacts for such resources as a car ministry
or a counseling hotline, or recruiting bilingual volunteers to assist
evacuees who do not speak English.

By early November, IRIM had assessed the needs of 42 hurricane evacuees.
Among them were a displaced woman and her 10-year-old son, from New

Johnson said, "When I met Lois, she looked me in the eye and said, 'This
is God giving me a chance to create a new life for my son.'" IRIM
connected them to First Congregational Church of Western Springs, IL
(United Church of Christ), which helped them locate and furnish a HUD
apartment in Maywood. In the past, IRIM and the church have worked
together to resettle refugees.

"Lois and her son were transported from New Orleans by bus, then helicopter, then airplane to Chicago, with no advance notice of where they were
going," said David Heinz, Urban Ministries Subcommittee chair on First
Congregational Church's Outreach Ministries Committee. "They were housed
in an empty wing of a mental health center outside Maywood."

Reached by phone, Lois said it is still hard to talk about what she went
through. "I am trying to put it behind me," she said, "but I keep
reliving it." The hospitality upon arrival in Chicago was "beautiful,"
Lois said. Then her social worker introduced her to Heinz, and First
Congregational Church "offered to help me get things for my apartment.

"I'm just thanking God that I am living and that my child and I made it
through to have this Thanksgiving together and in a home," said Lois, who
shared her Thanksgiving Day menu: a mouth-watering offering including ham,
poultry, sweet peas, mustard greens, cornbread and sweet potato pie. "I'm
thankful for everyone who helped me get where I am."

"A lot of congregation members pulled together to make this work," Heinz
said. "Some got food, others got a van, others found furnishings for the
apartment. The couple who helped move them brought their two sons along,
and they played with the woman's son during the move."

Johnson confirmed Heinz's statement. She said congregation members "struck
a very good relationship with the two. What thrills me is that relationships are being created among people of different backgrounds who otherwise
would not have gotten to know each other."

Other Gulf Coast evacuees who are getting back on their feet with IRIM's
help include a refugee from Eritrea who had resettled in New Orleans in
March under the auspices of Catholic Charities. He was working in New
Orleans, but when Katrina struck, he was evacuated to Baton Rouge, Johnson

"Following the hurricane, he came to Chicago to live with an Eritrean
refugee friend, who offered his hospitality," she said. "They seem quite
content to be together and to have each other." Trinity United Methodist
Church in Wilmette, IL, is helping both men with winter clothing, rent and

Johnson also told of three friends - a physician, diabetes educator, and
bilingual teacher - from New Orleans who lost everything to Hurricane
Katrina and relocated to Chicago. All need to get relicensed in order to
work in their respective fields in Illinois.

"IRIM found them housing in the parsonage of First United Methodist Church
of Elmhurst, IL," and the congregation has become an important support
system for them, Johnson said.

The physician, Dr. Tony Capps, told Johnson that congregation members
"have been right there when we needed anything. I am so appreciative of
all the good things that people are trying to do.

"It is hard sometimes to be on the receiving end when I am always the
caregiver," Dr. Capps said. "But it is times like these that teach us
humility and thankfulness. I am learning to grow in new directions due to
this tragic change in my life. God has a plan and I am doing my best to
quiet my heart and listen."

By late October, the CWS/IRP Miami Office was assisting 84 clients from
the U.S. Gulf Coast. Jose Sanchez, who is coordinating the Miami Office's
evacuee assistance program, described the services CWS has offered: "We
assessed each person's needs, provided a basic community orientation, and
referred them to such mainstream services as Medicaid and Food Stamps,
making sure basic needs for food and clothing were met."

"We also refer evacuees to the Principe de Paz Evangelical Lutheran Church
in Miami, FL, which is offering $100 in food assistance to each evacuee
family weekly. Most take advantage of this support. We've also been
working with South Florida Work Force to provide employment services."

CWS Miami is assisting a large extended Vietnamese family from New
Orleans. Some of the family members only came to the U.S. about six months
ago. "The family has friends in Miami, who have assisted them," Sanchez
said. "They found a house, and CWS paid for their first month's rent and
got them a donated dining room set." Two family members found part-time
employment at a nail salon, and a third is working part-time as a kitchen
helper at a restaurant.

CWS Miami matched a young Haitian couple from New Orleans with the New
Vision Emmanuel Baptist Mission, Miami, FL, which has many Haitian
members. Rev. Ronald Eugene, one of the church's pastors, said, "The
husband was a full-time student in Louisiana before the storm. He now
wants to continue with his education and find a job in Miami." The couple
is expecting a baby early in 2006.

"We'll help them with housing for three to six months," Pastor Eugene
said, "and as needs arise, we will try to help them in any way possible."

CWS Miami has enrolled 29 evacuees in South Florida Urban Ministries'
Thanksgiving Meal Delivery Program. "We do this every year for refugees,
and this year we also enrolled several evacuee families," Sanchez said.

PARA Refugee Services, the Church World Service affiliate in Grand Rapids,
Mich., had assessed 21 evacuees' needs by the end of October, and already
had matched many with congregational sponsors. Cornerstone United
Methodist Church in Grand Rapids stepped forward to help a Louisiana man
find his own place after living in a temporary shelter for more than a
month. Sunshine Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids is assisting a
New Orleans woman who got stranded in Grand Rapids when Hurricane Katrina

First United Methodist Church and three Christian Reformed congregations -
Cascade Fellowship, Westview and South Grandville - also are sponsoring
families who relocated to Grand Rapids from the U.S. Gulf Coast. And PARA
and key coordinators of the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance,
which includes 30 African American churches in Grand Rapids, are laying
the groundwork for the Alliance to sponsor several evacuee families.
Alliance leaders participated in an Oct. 25 training on how best to help
people displaced by the Gulf hurricanes. "The leaders were using the term
'our new neighbors' to refer to evacuees, which we found refreshing," said
Jotham Ippel, Director, PARA Refugee Services.

In Louisville, KY, CWS affiliate Kentucky Refugee Ministries (KRM) was
founded by members of Highland Presbyterian Church and has its offices
there. Highland's members are active supporters of refugee resettlement.
So KRM Executive Director Carol Young was not surprised when the congregation also stepped forward to help evacuees.

Highland owns a former nursing home across the street from the church.
The building's first floor is used for various programs, but the second
and third floors were vacant.

"The church's pastor, the Rev. Dr. Fairfax Fair, came up with the idea of
opening 'Highland House' to evacuees," Young said. The elegant, 100-year-old stucco building has a "magnificent dining room and 'session room' with
beautiful wood paneling."

Highland Presbyterian and Temple Congregation Adath Israel Brith Shalom
teamed up to enlist the participation of other houses of worship and the
community at large.

"Every denomination under the sun was represented," Dr. Fair reported.
"We got a temporary occupancy permit, and in five intensive days, 600
volunteers got 44 rooms on the second floor ready, scrubbing, painting,
moving in 85 single beds and other furniture along with lamps, TVs, towels
and bed linens. They assembled 44 dressers; repaired plumbing and
electrical wiring; installed locks, and hired security personnel."

With funding provided by Church World Service through KRM, Highland
Presbyterian hired Julie Hansen to ensure that evacuees' needs were met,
both during their stay at Highland House and once they moved out into
their own apartments.

>From mid-September to mid-October, Highland housed 40 Gulf hurricane
evacuees. Their number included an extended family of 14, who had fled
Hurricane Katrina, and about 18 Hurricane Rita medical evacuees and their
family members.

The church coordinated the community's outpouring of support, including
provision of three meals a day, clothing, social services, outings,
orientation to Louisville, and much more.

"The whole community jumped in together with a huge outpouring of love and
support for these people," Dr. Fair said. "People brought in clothing and
every meal, every day. They got children into school immediately. A
community theater group put on a play for the children, and one Highland
member took children to ballet lessons along with her own children.
People donated new bicycles and helmets for the children."

Then Louisville residents helped evacuees move out of Highland House and
into their own apartments. The last family moved out in mid-October, and
40 volunteers from United Parcel Service came in to clean and to box up
the extra clothing. Dr. Fair said some Hurricane Rita evacuees were able
to return to Texas, each with a suitcase full of mostly new clothes "so
they didn't go back to nothing with nothing."

KRM also is working with about 25 evacuee families who didn't stay at
Highland House, and is in the process of matching them with co-sponsoring
congregations. "These are people who've just made the decision to stay in
Louisville and who want the church connection," Young said. Some still
need furniture and other household items.

For some hurricane evacuees, the reality of their loss hasn't quite set in
yet, she added. "We're in the process of starting support groups for
older evacuees. There also are some individuals with medical issues that
need additional assistance. And we are concerned about winter heating
bills and winter clothes."

Refugee Resettlement and Immigration Services of Atlanta (RRISA), a CWS
affiliate, spread the word about its evacuee assistance program through
the local judicatories of the United Church of Christ, Episcopal Church,
Presbyterian Church (USA) and Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and
through Atlanta Intercultural Ministries and the Regional Council of
Churches of Atlanta (which, on Oct. 23, sponsored a "service of healing
and promise" for all touched by the Gulf hurricanes). By early November,
RRISA had evaluated the needs of nearly 500 Gulf Coast evacuees and
trained 60 churches in how to assist them. To date, 50 churches have
agreed to sponsor an identified evacuee family or families, as has The
Paideia School in Atlanta, which also supports RRISA's refugee resettlement work. Other schools, businesses, and the Atlanta Jewish community also
have contributed to RRISA's evacuee assistance program.

In September, Oak Grove United Methodist Church in Atlanta, GA, welcomed
both a refugee family from Russia and an evacuee family - a couple and
their two sons - from New Orleans. The church found and furnished
apartments for both families, and within two weeks got the New Orleans
husband a job interview. First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in
Atlanta is assisting the wife's sister, her fiancé and their four-year-old son.

Other sponsoring churches include Eastminster Presbyterian Church of
Atlanta, which mobilized about 50 of its members to help Gulf hurricane

"Among members is the owner of a construction company, who worked nights
and weekends to get a brand-new, three-bedroom house ready for a young New
Orleans couple with a three-year-old child," said the Rev. Sandra Mullins,
Executive Director of RRISA.

"The family had been living in public housing," Mullins said. "Now they
are in a house. The church is charging nothing for three months, then
will collect rent for three months. After six months, the church will
help the family find more permanent housing, refunding the three months'
rent as 'seed money.' In our experience, this is a good model for
churches with parsonages or other property to consider, whether resettling
refugees or helping hurricane evacuees."

The New Orleans couple has been working at McDonald's, Mullins said, and
the Eastminster Presbyterian Church congregation is helping them with
their resumes and recommendations for better jobs.

Also in Atlanta, St. Dunstan's Episcopal Church is co-sponsoring a young
couple raising their three children and caring for a 16-year-old cousin
with severe learning disabilities. "In New Orleans, they were barely
getting by," said RRISA's Sarah Miller, an evacuee program caseworker.
"Now they are in a nice, big apartment, and the 16-year-old likes school
for the first time in his life. The congregation's teen group took the
family hiking with them. The New Orleans family feels very energized by
the church, working on job skills and looking for jobs."

St. Martin in the Fields Episcopal Church, Atlanta, is assisting three of
18 related families from New Orleans, comprising 70 to 75 people. Their
one Atlanta relative, a widow, found herself hosting up to 40 family
members at a time in her three-bedroom apartment until they were able to
get situated in local hotels.

Atlanta's predominantly African American Hillside Presbyterian Church and
the predominantly "Anglo" First Presbyterian Church have co-sponsored a
refugee family every year for the past four years. Now the two congregations are working with an evacuee family, helping the family realize its dream
of home ownership by getting them into a rent-to-own program.

On Sunday, Nov. 20, Peachtree Presbyterian Church will host evacuees at a
Thanksgiving meal, coordinated by RRISA and a Katrina survivor who is
living in an Atlanta hotel.

RRISA is planning more trainings in mid-November for prospective church
sponsors, and is helping evacuees not yet matched with church sponsors
with referrals to sources of food, clothing, job sites, housing assistance, child care, medical resources, state assistance and more, and on Nov. 5,
RRISA co-hosted a job development workshop with "Atlanta Jobs 4 Katrina
Survivors," a group specializing in job networking, coaching, and resume

In Texas, the CWS affiliate Refugee Services of Texas is providing
assistance to evacuees through its offices in Dallas, Fort Worth and
Austin. "The numbers here are overwhelming," said RST's Chip Corcoran,
who is overseeing the program.

In Austin, about 75 evacuee families have been matched with 30 area
churches, and an additional 80 families will be matched soon, said RST's
Ashley Gillespie. "Since most evacuees' housing needs have been taken
care of, the majority of churches are involved in what we call a 'neighborhood project,'" she said. "The sponsors help evacuees navigate Austin
social services, assist them with transportation, and help them integrate
within their new communities. They phone the evacuees a couple times a
week and bring them a few meals every once in a while."

RST-Austin has been busy delivering furniture after an anonymous donor
provided enough beds, cribs, dinette sets, sofas, pots and pans, linens
and other household goods for approximately 400 evacuee families. The
office also continues to distribute gas and grocery cards to evacuees as
needed - all paid for by another anonymous donor. "We've distributed over
$40,000 worth so far," said Gillespie. To date, more than 1,500 individuals have received these cards and furniture donations.

In Dallas, RST meets on a weekly basis with Harrambee, a group of
faith-based organizations and service providers that are offering
assistance to evacuees, including housing, job fairs, and legal clinics
run by Dallas lawyers, reported RST's Debby Bobbitt.

"We can see a rough next few months for our evacuees in the way of jobs,
warm clothing, food, and post-traumatic stress disorder," said Bobbitt. In
Fort Worth, finding housing has been particularly challenging and many
evacuees are still living in hotels. To help them in the interim,
volunteers from the Mental Health Association of Tarrant County have come
to the hotels on a weekly basis. At the Fairfield Hotel in Fort Worth,
Bobbitt said there is a volunteer who comes weekly to do art therapy with
the evacuees.

One of RST's newest staff members with the evacuee assistance program in
Dallas is Abby, a recent asylee from Africa, who asked that her last name
and country of origin not be used. Abby said her experience of leaving
her home and family, and the assistance she received from other people,
including RST, led her to get involved in social work.

"It's wonderful to work now with evacuees, because I can relate to them so
well," said Abby. "I feel what they feel. They don't have anything, they
are starting from scratch, and I share their problems."

RST in Fort Worth recently celebrated two family reunifications. An RST
client, 70-year-old Tena was reunited with her nephew. "He had been
looking for her for a very long time, and called us," Bobbitt said. "She
was sent to Houston following Hurricane Katrina. Then Hurricane Rita hit,
and she was sent to Fort Worth."

Another RST client, who is disabled due to a stroke and has other health
problems, was also reunited with his family. "His daughter from Florida
found us in Fort Worth, and drove over to get him settled in a relative's
home in Dallas," Bobbitt said. "This daughter is about to move to Japan,
where her husband is in the military service. She was really appreciative
of everything we had done for her father and said she feels better leaving
the country knowing he is with family to take care of him now."

CWS affiliate Bridge Refugee and Sponsorship Services in Knoxville, TN,
had evaluated 54 evacuees' needs by the end of October. Case manager Kim
Spoon is working closely with the Compassion Coalition, a group of about
120 churches active in assisting evacuees.

Spoon has helped about 17 families find permanent housing and is asking
church sponsors to provide donated items, grocery and gas cards, and to
help the families integrate into their new communities. Several Knoxville
churches have agreed to provide Thanksgiving baskets so that families have
food to prepare their dinners. One church, the Fellowship Christian
Church, is planning to pick up some single evacuees who are living at a
hotel and to bring them to church for a Thanksgiving meal and fellowship.
Cedar Grove Baptist Church has donated items to one family; another church
is helping a woman who just got out of the hospital after heart surgery.
The church is trying to help her husband find a new job so he doesn't have
to drive 160 miles round trip to his current job.

The Church of the Good Samaritan (Episcopal) has helped 21-year-old
Jessica and her husband set up their new house - just in time for the
arrival of their new baby. "They have a mothers' support group that will
be helping her," Spoon said. Congregants delivered a crib and other baby
goods to her home. This congregation also is sponsoring another woman,
Tonya, and her three young children.

By the end of October, Lutheran Family Services in the Carolinas, a CWS
affiliate, had assessed 227 evacuees' needs in Greensboro; in Raleigh, LFS
and Catholic Social Ministries jointly assessed 649 people's needs. In
Columbia, SC, city officials have taken the lead on providing assistance
to evacuees but LFS is helping this effort by offering case management
services and coordinating furniture donations.

"Amazing efforts continue to take place," said Nasi Kajana who is
overseeing the program in Greensboro and Raleigh. "Ninety-five percent of
our clients have moved to permanent housing. Meeting the clients' needs
for furniture and household goods has continued to be a challenge but a
manageable one. We have housed them initially with the basic necessities
and continue to furnish their apartments as more donations are provided."

"Congregational support continues to increase and more churches are paired
with families every week. Churches of different denominations and
backgrounds, small and large, have all come together to provide support
and resources and great partnership with each other."

LFS recently hired two people displaced by the hurricanes to assist fellow
evacuees. Mildred Johnson was hired as a job specialist in Greensboro,
and Victoria Tackett was hired as a case manager in Raleigh.

"They have lost most of their belongings, but not the courage and the
willingness to help their own community in our area," said Kajana.
"Although they are looking to establish themselves in our area, these
candidates did not hesitate when they learned the positions were short-term. As we continue to help others, our efforts are rejuvenated by these
great examples of perseverance and resilience."

Johnson has more than seven years of workforce development experience,
assisting dislocated, unemployed and underemployed people to find jobs.
She describes herself as a "Katrina survivor."

The Sunday before Hurricane Katrina hit, she and her family moved to her
hometown in northern Louisiana. She stayed there until Hurricane Rita hit
close by and then her sister in Greensboro told her she should consider
moving to North Carolina. So Mildred moved to Greensboro toward the end of

Once she arrived, she registered with the Red Cross. Her sister's church
has a job link program, which told her about Lutheran Family Services. The
same week that LFS hired her, she found an apartment and received donated
furniture from LFS.

Johnson said she has "rolled up her sleeves to give back to the community
* making the best of a bad situation." Still dealing with the loss of her
own home in New Orleans, she has thrown herself into her new job. She
already has found one company that has 17 open positions, and she is
planning a job fair for evacuees on Nov. 17.

As Thanksgiving approaches, Johnson reflected that in past years, much of
the focus was on preparing a dish, but this time the holiday will mean so
much more. She said she is thankful for the roof over her head and she is
especially grateful that her family escaped safely. She said, "We're
thankful that we're alive."

The Virginia Council of Churches Refugee Resettlement Program, a CWS
affiliate based in Richmond, VA, is assisting Gulf hurricane evacuees
through its Richmond, Hampton Roads/Newport News, and Harrisonburg, VA,

VCC-Hampton Roads is working to link local churches with hurricane
evacuees to assist with housing, employment, transportation and furnishings. The VCC's Teri Doddy reported many ongoing needs - and congregations'
tireless help.

"Their hearts are wide open," she said. "I think we all realize it could
be any one of us. When you are sitting in front of someone who has been
affected, you can't walk away. I've cried with people, hugged them, taken
them to the doctor. Several people who spent days in their flooded homes
before being rescued still are ill from the mold and mildew."

Evacuees "break down, a lot of them. They are frustrated. They think
they've been forgotten. I've seen grown men break down. One man said,
'Don't think I'm not appreciative. I was brought up to work hard and take
care of my family. This is the hardest thing I've had to do in my life.'
I said, 'I'm sure that if it were me and my family in need, you'd be right
there helping me,'" Doddy said.

"I've never seen anything like this before," she added. "You feel
helpless, want to cry, and then you turn around and get determined to help
these people get on their feet, step by step. We all need to open our eyes
and realize what's around us - homelessness and other situations. We get
hardened to the needs right in our own backyard. But I think people are
coming together at a time when we really need it."

Among Virginia congregations to lend a hand is Courthouse Community United
Methodist Church in Virginia Beach, VA, which started by assembling and
shipping 100 CWS "Gift of the Heart" Health Kits and numerous emergency
Clean-up Buckets for Gulf hurricane survivors, then contributed almost
$12,000 through the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) for its
post-hurricane response. In addition, the congregation signed up to
provide an evacuee family of five with "hospitality" for up to six months.
The church is offering housing and employment assistance, food and
furnishings. For Thanksgiving, it will deliver a turkey and all the
trimmings to each of three evacuee families, Doddy said.

Lynnhaven United Methodist Church in Virginia Beach is sponsoring a woman,
her parents, and her two children, providing housing and employment
assistance, furnishings, clothing and food. Ebenezer United Methodist
Church in Suffolk, VA, is "sponsoring a couple completely, providing
housing for up to six months, furnishings, food, clothing, and trying to
find them a vehicle."

Congregations that can't manage a full sponsorship are joining with others
to meet their new neighbors' needs. Schools "are accepting these folks
right away," Doddy said. "Walmart is hiring evacuees on the spot, and
furniture stores are donating brand-new furniture. Lots of times it's
simply a matter of telling businesses what the needs are and specifically
how to help."

A hurricane survivor who found an apartment in Norfolk turned to the
Virginia Council of Churches for help relocating after it became clear how
rough the neighborhood was. "She heard gunshots every day," Doddy said.
"Two churches offered to help her move."

Doddy said she's also working to help a couple who remain stuck in a hotel
room "waiting for housing, out of money and with no transport. They get
Food Stamps but they have no money for toiletries," including feminine
hygiene items. Food Stamps don't cover non-food items. "It's degrading
to have to call someone for your bare necessities," Doddy said.

In Harrisonburg, VA, the VCC's Cathy Smith is building a network of church
support for the Waynesboro, Harrisonburg, and Staunton areas. "I've been
impressed with the willingness of churches and individuals to help
people," she said, even people in a nearby city whom "they'll probably
never meet." For example, several Harrisonburg churches are providing
assistance to evacuees living in Waynesboro.

Smith met a number of evacuees at a Nov. 5 "welcome day" for evacuees in
Staunton, VA, organized by the Staunton Community Church Committee with
assistance from the Booker T. Washington Alumni. She asked evacuees about
their urgent, specific unmet needs, and got Staunton First Presbyterian
Church and volunteers from Trinity Presbyterian Church, Harrisonburg,
involved in helping two single evacuees.

"There's been a lot of organization, and people are so willing to give,"
Smith said. "Churches ask how to help, and within a couple days someone's
taken care of it."


CWS Media Contact: Lesley Crosson, 212-870-2673;

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