GALVESTON, Texas --
Moody Memorial Methodist Church is just one of many facilities in
Texas serving as a shelter and temporary home for evacuees from the
stricken Gulf Coast.
And Mike Humphrey,
co-owner of Cruise Planners in nearby Bayou Vista, along with his
wife Mary, is just one of many agents who pitched in to welcome the
hurricane victims evacuated from the flood waters and destruction
in Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi.
When Humphrey saw the
trailer truck with the Katrina Donations sign parked near City
Hall, he got to work.
Im a big guy. I
retired from Levi Strauss several years ago, and I had lots of
jeans and denim, Humphrey said. We cleaned out our closets and took
all the bags down to the trailers for the people at the
So did most
Galveston-area residents, according to Humphrey.
Methodist is housing 300 evacuees, but so are all the other
churches in the area, Humphrey said. The pharmacies are filling
prescriptions for free, and the Humane Society is taking care of
the animals that came in with hurricane victims. Many people
arrived here by car, and there are Louisiana license plates all
The local schools
have taken in lots of new students, and were all trying to do what
we can to help these people get back to some form of normalcy and
Humphrey feels that
the vast majority of the evacuees will not return to New Orleans
and the Gulf Coast. They tell me that they feel safe here, are much
more comfortable and the job prospects look good.
The smokestacks from
the cruise ships docked at the port of Galveston were visible from
the convention center, which was a staging area for relief
At press time, it was
unclear whether the ships would remain in Galveston to house some
of the hurricane victims or would be moved to New Orleans to house
Up the Gulf Freeway
in Houston, the volunteer scene was repeated on a larger scale. An
agent at Woodlake Travel in the Galleria area volunteered to serve
the six-hour breakfast shift that began at 4 a.m. each morning at
the George R. Brown Convention Center.
The call went out
from a number of churches in the area, asking for volunteers. We
had a one-hour training session, divided into groups and set up
shifts for the next month, she said. Others are helping them find
jobs and housing.
The evacuees got a
hot meal of grits, eggs, sausage, bacon, cereal, toast and juice.
Theyre very appreciative, very kind and grateful, she
Wagonlit/Future Travel in Clear Lake, halfway between Houston and
Galveston, owner Charlotte Weller said that agency employees had
set up a fund to help the hurricane victims and also donated food
reporter Gay Nagle Myers, send e-mail to [email protected].