Pearlington Living, September 2005. Bedrooms on the left, kitchen in the middle, living room on the right, bathroom out back, in the woods. That's my mom kneeling on the right, trying to comfort one of the ladies.
Been camping? What's the longest you've ever roughed it? Two days? Three? Five? Living in a tent, exposed to the elements, your grooming slowly falling apart, making you look more crazy, more primal, each day.
Many people in Pearlington, Mississippi have been roughing it for 51 days now. 51 days. The first Gulf War was fought and won in less time. We flew men to the moon and returned them to Earth in less time.
Many of the church groups who had been coming through and helping are now gone. Americorps is there. But most of the people who are helping now, they're just regular individuals, like you and me. They're helping distribute aid when it comes in. They're helping people clear trees, in case the mythical FEMA trailers ever show up. Here's what's needed in Pearlington right now, as of today, 51 days later: (read more after the jump)
--Food, non-perishable. MREs are still available, but they're worried that could end soon and want to begin stocking up for the winter. They particularly need hearty meals, like stews. They're working hard all day, and need a lot of protein.
--Packaged socks and underwear (all sizes)
--Daily toiletries, like deodorant, shaving cream and razors, and soap (including laundry soap)
--Daily staples like coffee, sugar, salt, pepper
--Towels, all sizes
--Paper towels and toilet paper
--Rakes, shovels, and yard tools
--Volunteers, volunteers, volunteers. They have a big tent set up for you. Don't go to Disneyland. Go to Katrinaland. It's the vacation you'll never forget, I guarantee.
Send items UPS or Fedex, not by mail, because this is what the Pearlington Post Office looks like.
So, again, it's just us, people. You and me. If you want to help out, send stuff (or yourself) here:
c/o Operation Eden
6096 1st Street
Pearlington MS 39572
Update: A few people have told me they've had problems with Fedex not delivering packages they sent, and suggest sticking with UPS. Aside from knowing that the Post Office is useless, I can't confirm anything about Fedex or UPS. It seems hit or miss, many Fedex packages get in, others don't. But, I haven't (yet) heard any complaints about UPS, so maybe they're the safest bet right now.