Thursday, January 18, 2007

My Name is Earl..

Allow me to introduce you to the Earl Family:Toby,Yvette, Brittany, and Michael. (Toby was not available for this photo.) Nearly a year and a half ago, they lost their home when Hurricane Katrina hit the small town of Pearlington, MS.

I have been working to help the residents of Pearlington, MS through my blog, and a website called Purls of Hope. I have been working to support the Pearlington Project Katrina Foundation, which was started by Angela Cole, shortly after Katrina hit.

The Earl family survived Hurricane Katrina. However, floodwaters reached the attic of their home and they lost everything. In spite of their own losses, they reached-out and helped their neighbors. At one point in those first few months after Katrina, they had over 20 people camping on their property - people who had nowhere else to go.

Yvette is a great cook and was a cook at the little local restaurant on Main Street in Pearlington. However, it, too was washed away in the storm. She has spent the last year caring-for her family and her elderly father.

Brittany is 12 years old and this has been a tough year for her. Her grandmother (Yvette’s mother) never recovered from the shock of the storm and died this past year. Brittany loves animals and wants to be a vet one day. She lost most of her animals in the storm, but has taken-in many “Katrina stray” dogs and cats.

The father of the family, Toby, was a fisherman prior to Katrina. He lost his big boat in the storm - it’s still lodged in the tree where Katrina blew it. Yet, never one to quit, Toby salvaged a little flat boat and goes out into the bay fishing for crabs every day the weather allows.

Michael is 9 years old and loves the outdoors. He often goes fishing with his dad. Michael also loves sports and wants to play football some day. Its hard for the kids to participate in sports because the kids from Pearlington are still bused an hour each way to school. So, they can’t stay after school and participate in activities like other kids; they have to catch the bus and get back to Pearlington.

There’s no question this disaster has hit children and the elderly the hardest. The kids wonder if they’ll ever have a home again and are more anxious than they were prior to Katrina. Getting these children “back home” is the first step to restoring stability to their lives. The FEMA trailers which are home to many families like the Earl family are going to be removed at the end of February. Trust me… FEMA has already notified them they ARE coming. They need a home now!

The Pearlington Project Katrina Foundation has a plan. They have volunteer builders lined up for an organized Building Blitz to take place in Pearlington during the first week of February. They will be building homes for four families. These are the forgotten of the forgotten victims of Katrina.

Some of you may have already helped the residents of the town of Pearlington by sending care kits through Purls of Hope. The Earl family and the other families in Pearlington are counting on you for one last push. Together, we can bring the people of Pearlington the rest of the way home.

Please begin by going to the Pearlington Project Katrina Foundation website. Read their stories, read about their struggles. View the multiple clips of coverage by CNN that has chronicled the struggles of this small town over the last year and a half.

Then please donate what you can toward the building fund. Your donation is tax deductable.

I am focusing on helping the Earl family rebuild their home, through my blog and my charity website Purls of Hope. It will take $45,000 to rebuild their home. Here is the site where it will be built. That seems like a big number, but in reality it's not. Not with the big team that we knit bloggers are! We can do it! If Stephanie can raise $120,000 in 72 hours well then we can do this right? 100% of the monies goes to the building, 100%. Anything raised over the $45,000 will go to the other houses being built in the blitz! Lets work together and get this done, a small donation a large donation whatever you can give will help. A house is built one brick at a time..

I don’t know about you, but when I look in the eyes of Micheal I see something special. I see hope. Which is something I haven’t seen in the eyes of the residents of Pearlington since I have learned of their plight. Please join with me, in getting the Earl Family back home!

I also need your help spreading the word. If you have a blog, please, at minimum, put a link to The Pearlington Project Katrina Foundation website, or link directly to it: Please, if you are willing, write a short post about this effort, simply referring people to or the foundation website. Here is a button you can use for the foundtation’s website. Please right click on it and save it to your local files before using it.

So, if you can’t give, PLEASE spread the word.

If you have an organization, house of faith, company or coop, consider asking them to help contribute to this effort! I would love to get an email from those of you who make a donation, I will be trying to keep a tally of how much is donated. and if you who have helped out with a link or a post.. so please email me at DLayman at neo dot rr dot com!

Thanks for sticking through this long post…

Together we will build a house, we will make a difference!

Update: We have $20,000 donated toward the total goal of $120,000 to rebuild the four target homes in Pearlington. As you know the goal for rebuilding just the Earl's home is $45,000 so there is still not enough to rebuild even one home. So please, keep getting the word out, keep encouraging your local company, house of worship, civic groups to get involved!


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