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Churches still in the thick of hurricane relief
Six months after four major hurricanes ripped through the state, churches and relief agencies in Southwest Florida continue to provide aid to thousands of people in need. But instead of bottles of water and bags of clothing, the most sought-after commodity these days is a permanent place to live.
The sheer number of damaged and destroyed buildings in the hardest-hit areas has slowed the construction, permitting and inspection process to a crawl. In rural DeSoto County, an estimated 85 percent of homes were damaged by Hurricane Charley. And with less than three months to go before the official start of the 2005 hurricane season, pressure is mounting.
“It’s not panic time yet, but people are feeling the urgency of knowing that June 1 is hurricane season again and that their roof isn’t repaired yet,” said Donna Veatch, a Methodist relief worker in Arcadia, the county seat. “And what are they going to do when the rains come?” Read more…
A Labor of Love: Quilts bringing comfort to many in hospitals, hospice care
Nearly every Thursday morning, a group of women gathers at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Palmetto, quietly turning castaway scraps of material into a gesture of kindness for the sick and needy.
Since the summer, the group has turned out more than 30 quilts and given them to struggling newborns, children undergoing cancer treatment and patients in hospice care. Read more…