Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Project Isaac

I plan to leave South Padre Island on Feb. 5, 2007 and return to MS for the month of February as a Katrina volunteer.

I'll be going with my old work crew from Central IL hoping to add to the progress of a new home being built for Isaac and his mom. Contibutions would be welcomed at:


Their story:

Hello, my name is Isaac. I am four years old. That’s me standing with my mom, Rhonda in front of our new house in Bay St.
Louis, MS. I have four brothers and a sister. Their names are Julio (8), Joseph (15), Pedro (20), Daniel (21) and Elisa (18).
Daniel is currently serving our country in Iraq. We are very proud of him. Elisa is married and on her own. Julio and Pedro
are living with my dad in California. Joseph lives with me and mom but he has gone to California to get his new prosthetic
eye. He lost his eye due to cancer when he was four years old. He even had a heart attack caused by the chemo treat­
ments and almost died.
We moved here after my mom and dad got a divorce because my mom wanted to be close to her sister. Mom used all the
money she had to buy our house so she wouldn’t have a mortgage. We moved in and got everything fixed up two months
before hurricane Katrina hit. Mom even had a good job at Oreck Corp. Of course, all that changed when the storm hit. I
remember being really scared when mom packed us up in the car and took us to Stennis Space Center to hide from the
storm. We didn’t know at the time that we would be there two weeks before we could go back home. When we went back I
couldn’t believe the mess. The house was still there but it was broken to pieces. Mom was able to save her jewelry and coin
collection but that was about all. She also found our old tent and we camped out on our deck for five weeks until FEMA
could bring the trailer that we have now. I like camping but it was pretty miserable with all the bugs and mosquitoes; and, it
was hot too! I remember mom was really worried about our safety.
Well, we have been in that FEMA trailer for a year now. Mom has been working hard on trying to get our new house built.
Somehow she got set up with Walls of Hope. Those nice people brought volunteers in and put up the foundation, walls and
roof. Mom had to buy the materials so she has spent all the FEMA money she got. I heard her say she didn’t have insur­
ance because she didn’t know we were in a floodplain. She even traded her jewelry and coin collection so a contractor
could put shingles on the roof. She has no way to buy anything now because when she went back to work after the storm
they said they didn’t need her or 60 of her friends who worked there. The only money we get is from mom babysitting my
cousin while my aunt works. She has been looking for another job but she can’t do much until she has an operation. She
recently found out that she has uterine cancer, whatever that is.
Oh, one more thing. We had to move out of the FEMA trailer for a while because it got smashed recently when a big thun­
derstorm came through and made a tree fall on it. I don’t know how but my mom still has a good attitude. She says “the
government doesn’t owe us anything”. She believes people should help each other. She even volunteers with Walls of
Hope to help others. If there is some way you can help us that would be good. We don’t really have anywhere else to turn
right now. Thank You


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