The 2005 Atlantic hurricane season was the most active Atlantic hurricane season in recorded history,
repeatedly shattering previous records. The most notable storm being Katrina.
We decided to go to help the Katrina victims by joining the efforts of other CC's in Mississippi. A group of
people from our church signed up to join with us. A few weeks before we were to leave, Wilma hit
southern Florida. We prayed to see if the Lord would have us still go to Katrina or stay closer to home and
help out with Wilma.
We contacted a couple of churches in the Naples area and a few of us took off to help out and scout the
area. We met one of the local church people in Naples at one of their member's home and helped cut and
clear trees and yard debris. While there we found a couple of other neighbors who needed help.
By noon we were finished and asked if there were any other areas that needed help. The locals directed us
to an area where a couple of elderly mobile home parks were located. This area was hard hit and the only
people to show up to help out were some scam artists promising a lot, taking money and doing nothing!
We immediately got to work and started cleaning up in the first park. As we were cleaning one of the
homes a couple, Sid & Dottie, were driving down the road. They stopped and talked to Mary Jo and Melissa
asking them who we were and what we were doing.
Sid & Dottie were very overwhelmed with all that had happened and had no idea where to start. They said
they were ready to pack it in and just go back to spending summers up north. They prayed that God would
help them and show them what to do and then we showed up!
We finished up where we were and headed down to help them. They had quite a mess. We knew that God
led us to this place and that he wanted us to work in this area. We worked as late as we could, but needed
to head back home. We told Sid and Dottie that we needed to see what we could do to help them and their
neighbors and promised to get back to them.
We immediately contacted the rest of our team and said that we felt the Lord directing us to work in this
area as opposed to Mississippi and asked them and our mission's pastor to pray. We called the ministry in
MS and told them of the situation. Together we concluded that was what the Lord wanted. We called Sid
& Dottie and said that we had a team that could come down and work in their area. We also asked them if
they knew of other people who needed help. Dottie became our local advocate and immediately got busy
lining up work for us.
We took our team back down and worked on many homes. Not only was our team able to all go down, but
because of the proximity of the work, people who couldn't have gone to Mississippi because of other
commitments were able to come down for one or two days as their schedules permitted and help serve.
To our knowledge no other relief agency was ever in the area, it was definitely a God thing that we ended
up in Naples rather than going to Mississippi. We worked in two mobile home parks and on countless homes
helping many people get their lives back on track and enabled many more from our fellowship to participate
in the efforts. We have kept in contact with Sid & Dottie over the years and try to visit when we're in the
We didn't forget about Katrina, and Mary Jo took her 7th grade class, along with some adults there to
help with the recovery efforts.