Church members give hurricane aid

By Tony Parra: Freedom Newspapers

A contingent of Portales church members spent portions of the last three months in the hurricane-ravaged areas in south Texas and Louisiana and providing the victims food, shelter and above all, hope.

Don Davis of Portales was one of the volunteers who went to help.

“We were there to help them spiritually,” Davis said. “You’re there to give them support and give them faith to go on.”

Davis and his son, Steve Davis along with Charlie Crane, attend Southern Baptist Convention seminars to learn how to prepare meals, clean-up, cut trees and other tasks involved in helping after disasters.

Don Davis said he has made four trips to damaged areas in Louisiana and south Texas. Davis returned Wednesday from his last trip after helping with removal of trees and the cleaning of damaged houses. Davis said even though it’s been more than two months since the hurricanes struck the area, there’s still a lot of work to be done. Hurricane Katrina hit in late August while Hurricane Rita hit in mid-September.

“There’s still debris everywhere,” Davis said.

Davis said he also worked as a volunteer with the feeding unit. According to Davis, he helped feed 400 evacuees in Slidell, La., the first week he was there starting Sept. 10. Slidell, located on the Gulf of Mexico, was one of the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Katrina.

Steve Davis and Crane made a trip to Beaumont, Texas, as part of the chain saw unit, which cut up and removed the trees.

Steve Davis said he stood nearby as one homeowner receive bad news from his insurance agent.

“He was told that his house wasn’t covered for hurricane damage,” Steve Davis said. “Two trees totally destroyed his house. I was heartbroken for him.”

Crane said images of the damage to the communities are still vivid in his mind.

“There were trees down everywhere,” Crane said. “There was a lot of work to be done before the reconstruction of homes.”

Crane said he came back in early October and that there is still a need for volunteers to continue to help with cleaning and rebuilding.