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Katrina’s kids target of holiday aid

AHOSKIE – Members of the Higher Ground Pentecostal Holiness Church are reaching out to the youngest victim’s of Hurricane Katrina.

Members of the church, along with the help of local businesses, are collecting toys for the children from the Gulf Coast states. Toys can be dropped off at the Higher Ground Pentecostal Holiness Church on 2209 Hwy 13, Classic Rentals and Central Ford. Church members are planning to take the toys to the Gulf Coast states the weekend of December 16.

Church member Dawn Pridgen and her two sons, James and Will, have been helping with the collection of the toys.

“Some children from our church used their allowance money to buy toys,” James Pridgen said.

“One little girl brought four bags of toys,” Will Pridgen said.

Pridgen and other members of the church have already traveled to the hurricane ravaged Gulf Coast states to deliver toys.

“We had a sidewalk Sunday school while we were down there and are going to have a puppet show during our next trip,” James said.

“God can do amazing things,” Will added.

Church member Gordon Knox helped organize the trips to the region to deliver toys and repair houses.

Knox shared a letter from one of Hurricane Katrina’s victims he met while he was in Mississippi who continues to inspire him.

“Thank you for the love you sent that came in the form of money,” hurricane victim Sandra Eisler said. “If you are a volunteer, I treasure you. If you are a coordinator, I admire you.”

“The Christian community across this great country will help us rebuild the infrastructure of the families blown apart on August 29th,” Eisler said. “Homeless has a new meaning. It’s no longer the old man that lives under the bridge; it is your mom, dad, children, brothers, sisters, cousins and friends.”

She continued, “we will have new foundations laid, hearts will be renewed and like a tidal wave, joy will pour out and we won’t forget who helped, who came and who brought my mother a birthday cake so she could finally cry.”

Eisler shared a story about a group of college kids from Tennessee who came to help repair her house. Once this group of young people discovered it was Eisler’s mother’s 80th birthday, they sang Happy Birthday and gave her a cake. Eighteen days after the hurricane struck, Eisler’s mother finally cried.

“They were able to take her pain,” Eisler shared.