MSSU student helps Hurricane Katrina victims
September 07, 2005
JOPLIN (SNS) - Missouri Southern State University freshman Carla Crouse, Lamar, (formerly of Houston,TX) went to Houston over the Labor Day holiday weekend to help at the Astrodome, where thousands of victims of the hurricane are being relocated.

Carla spent several days helping and upon her return commented that what she experienced "could melt the hardest of hearts." Carla worked with the Red Cross." What I saw there ....total desperation...the stories those people have to tell could make the hardest of hearts melt!"

The people are walking around in a daze-like trance, Carla reported. "People who still do not know where their loved ones are or if they are even still alive. Children separated from their parents," she stated.

"We did have a 'good' thing happen while I was there. A woman in the dome was unable to find her children. She saw her husband die. But we finally found children in the Reliant Stadium and the mother and children were reunited," Carla said.

Carla helped hand out meals and clothing to people and provided "a shoulder to cry on when needed." She also helped people in wheelchairs up the ramps to get their food, served on the 4th floor of the dome.

"If you have never been to the Astrodome, it is huge. These ramps I am talking about are just like car ramps in a parking garage," she explained.

She also saw children being sent to start classes in Houston area schools. "They didn't seem to like that too well. They told you all about it," Carla shared with some amusement. "But it kept their minds off things. I'm sure and it most likely also kept them from running amuck! They complained about the homework they were given."

"I saw my fellow Houstonians pour their generosity and compassion out on these people! I am very proud of them," Carla stated. "The year before I moved to Missouri, Houston had a huge flood and it amazed me then at how many helped out. "But this was something far more amazing to see how they have pulled this off," the Lamar woman said.

"They have stations for everything from meds to clothes." The magnitude of the people they are dealing with would blow your mind, she said. It is basically wall-to-wall people in all three centers they have opened at the Astrodome, Hall and Reliant, and that does not even count the area churches and other places that have put people up," she said.

"I walked into the dome and felt the oppression," she said, "I walked out knowing everything that could be done for them at this point, was being done!"

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