Section title text:  Archived News.

Helping with Hurricane Relief—Province of the Americas

October - December 2005

Nancy Mitchell fcJ and Cindy Hayden arrived in Monroe, Louisiana on the afternoon of October 12th. They were welcomed to the area by a friend, Yvonne Boudreau, whose husband, Willis, introduced them to the area showing them the places they would need to know.

Through the Red Cross Center they were introduced to the Children's Coalition, the group with which Nancy and Cindy are working. They are involved in after school work in the teen center. It has proved very difficult to find volunteer workers for the teens groups.

Both Nancy and Cindy are pleased to be working with the teens' groups. They are doing a variety of things; sometimes helping with homework, sometimes listening, talking, playing games, or just supervising. Some of the teens are having difficulty leaving or seeing friends leave. The Center has become a safe place and much uncertainty lies outside of the center walls.

One evening, at the end of the activities, one of the teens stopped at the door and told Nancy and Cindy how much she appreciated their presence and their time. She said she enjoyed the teen room and realized it wouldn't be possible if they were not there. (They have been the only steady volunteers in that room) Cindy writes, "Doing what we were doing had not seemed like much until then."

More recently, Nancy and Cindy have met more with the adults at the trailer parks and motels. They are hearing many horror stories. The trailer parks in which many people are living are in the middle of nowhere. There is no land line phone and no clothes washer, no transportation. Out on the trailer parks they have met some of the kids from the shelter and been greeted like long lost cousins.

Nancy fcj and Cindy volunteer at the Red Cross Centre.
Photo: Denise, Cindy and Nancy.
Denise, Cindy, and Nancy. Denise is the
Children's Coalition Coordinator that we work with.
Photo: Two little boys in the multi-purpose room.
Two little boys-Rayshawn and Davon-in the
multi-purpose room, a room used by our program
to gather the children at the end of the day.

Photo: Nancy and Cindy play with the children and the balloon lady.
Nancy and Cindy with the balloon lady, Jane, on Balloon Hat Day.
Jane is a volunteer from Chicago who came for a couple of days to work with the children.

One of the things that is really amusing Cindy and Nancy is that people in that area are not used to religious sisters. The people they worked with were probably expecting something like Maria from the Sound of Music. Every where they go people say "You must be them nuns everyone is talking about."

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