Friday, March 30, 2007

Playgrounds by MS State

Feb/07 The Mississippi State University Early Childhood Institute has completed installation of new fixed equipment for playgrounds at 43 child care facilities in the Hurricane Katrina region of Mississippi, thanks to federal funds allocated by the Office for Children and Youth of the Mississippi Department of Human Services. The funds are from the federal Social Services Block Grant (SSBG) to the State of Mississippi.

The institute will provide fixed equipment or outdoor play materials to a total of 137 child care facilities in 15 counties and 29 communities. The facilities have a maximum capacity of 8796 children. (See table.)

Facilities that lost entire playgrounds to the hurricane received new fixed playground equipment as well as outdoor learning materials such as easels, sandboxes, and puppet theaters. Facilities that had partial damages will receive the outdoor learning materials. The fixed equipment meets Mississippi Department of Health licensure standards for equipment.

Connie Clay of the MSU Early Childhood Institute is director of the institute’s Rebuilding After Katrina Initiative. Johnson, Bailey, Henderson, McNeel PA of Jackson, Miss., designed the installations of fixed equipment and Kenneth R. Thompson, Jr., Builder, Inc., of Greenwood, Miss., was the general contractor for the project. Both firms were low bidders in competitive bidding.

The Mississippi State University Extension Service also is helping child care providers in the Katrina region to resume offering safe, developmentally appropriate outdoor play opportunities to young children. The Nurturing Homes Initiative of the MSU Extension Service is providing technical assistance to license-exempt child care providers who care for children in their homes. The Extension Service received a separate contract from the Office for Children and Youth of the Mississippi Department of Human Services to assist family child care providers.
This shows that Hancock County has only 4 registered child care facilities with a total capacity of 200 children.
In March, this was increased by 1 and 100 respectively with the opening of the facility by Bucks Mont Katrina Project.

Labels: , , , ,

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Diamond Kids Project

This project is being headed up by a gentleman not living in Hancock County, but obviously someone who cares a great deal about what happens there. I made contact with him through the Mommy 101 project, currently taking place in Waveland.
The following are excerpts from our email conversation. If you wish to assist, please email or phone him. Note - the website for his business does not have information re: this project...

I have had some serious conversations with the ECI, (early childhook institute - out of Ms State concerning the need for a child care center in DH.
I have also had conversations with the inspector for Hancock County with the Health Dept. who is also supportive of the project.
The biggest problem at present is the need for a qualified child care director for the center. I am sending this out to your friends to see if ther might be some names in the DH (diamond head) area interested in the position.
Let me know.
Bert A. Welch III, M.D.
Med One, LLC
397 Kingsbridge Road
Madison, MS 39110

After the Buck Mont Child development center was opened for the 100 slots, a waiting list was started. I have heard that the waiting list has 125 kids on that list. There are only about 4-5 child care centers in Hancock County (confirmed *4*). I recently finished building a 6000 sf office building that I designed and built to 2003 IBC code. This building is built to sustain 140 mph winds. Complete with 5 offices, showers in the handicap bathrooms, small kitchenettes, hardwired for cable, computer and a security system, this building is set up for a child care facility.

I am working with the administrator of the Buck Mont Child Care Center along with the regional director for the State Health Department and the exec director of the Early Childhood Institute from Miss State University. All of these women are working to see if this facility could be used for child care, after school care, and psycho social counseling.

The director for the Buck Mont Child care has told me today that a director for the facility in diamondhead could be achieved without much trouble. By the way, Diamondhead is north of I 10 and has been a quaint retirement center for many years. After the storm, many of the older residents left the area and the homes were filled with younger parents. Of all Hancock County, this area is considered to be the wealthiest.

By placing the facility in a 501(c)3 not for profit entity, I believe that there is some grant money available to help with start up costs,and furnish the facility with toys , books, and a playground.

I approach my projects with the three "E's". Envision, Engineer, and Excitement. The children have been left behind and hopefully, we all can contribute to help restore their lives.

Thank you for your interest, I am fast tracking this project and hopefully we can get this project going before summer break. I welcome any suggestions or comments.


Labels: , , , ,

Sunday, March 25, 2007

CC Here Hope

C.C. Here Hope
P.O. Box 3446
Bay St. Louis, MS 39521
(609) 892-3939 OR (609) 338-2253

In August of 2005, as millions of Americans watched the devastation of Hurricane Katrina unfold, I was driving South from my home in Hammonton, New Jersey. My journey took me to Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. Then on September 17th, after only a little over a week in Mississippi, I returned to New Jersey and told my landlord "I'm moving out". I packed most of my worldly possessions in a U-Haul truck and drove back to Mississippi with my 21 year old son, Antonio. I gave everything I had to the hurricane victims and began my hurricane relief efforts.

C.C. Here Hope is at a temporary distribution center in the Bay St. Louis/Waveland area. Very soon, we will need another location (warehouse) to operate from. If you know of a location in the area, please contact us. We are also in need of a delivery truck and pickup trucks to get donations to the elderly and others in remote locations. Volunteer laborers, food, clothing and building materials are all desperately needed on the entire Mississippi Coast. PLEASE - If you can help me get donations transported to Mississippi, contact me below.

(609) 892-3939 OR (609) 338-2253
C.C. Here Hope
P.O. Box 3446
Bay St. Louis, MS 39521

~ Needs ~

Donations of gas cards or money for fuel.

Cash donations for the rental of U-Haul Trucks or possibly someone to volunteer a truck to transport the donations in.

Donations of Goods such as furnishings, linens, pet foods, gift cards, clothing, and anything that will help these families rebuild their lives.

Building Materials and manual labor towards rebulding.

Slide Show

Labels: , , , , ,

Thursday, March 22, 2007

News From An Artist

From Artist Michelle Allee

cottage living came and photographed our gallery........they said it may be a year before they use the photos, but we were all excited that they may include us in their magazine and bring focus to bay st louis............

southern living will be in bsl on march 10 for second saturday

Labels: , , , ,

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Volunteer Update

3/19 Well this is a very slow time for what ever reason. Almost nothing going on. On the birght side, six firefighters from Sterling VFD in Virginia, are volunteering out of the school. They stopped by here first delivering toilet paper and to say hi.

There are four drivers in the group. The deputy chief is with them. Plans are to fix them up with a pager and radio for their duration. At least if the defication happens to hit the rotary oscillator help is available.

Pulled in last night. It's a little rainy off and on . Chief Jones is just about out of service due to his back acting up. The church camp next to the fire department has been moved off the water plant property one lot to the old Post office property. There is a new playground with equipment for kids.

In Waveland, Bucks/Montgomery Co. PA helped build $1.25M children's center that opened this week. There are numerous offers to bid on various projects for Waveland Schools.

Waveland had a St. Patricks Day parade and is having another St. Patricks Day Parade this coming Saturday. According to the paper 60 people were arrested for various violations and about 50 this past week.

A crew from Collins FD, Eire County NY (Buffalo area) is coming down in a week or so. The biggest need all around is cash. We kind of knew that but I just got anther request yesterday to donate turnout gear. Not much is really needed equipment wise as much as cash and operating expenses. I hope to get out to Moss Point today if not I'll try Monday.

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Trauma Counselors

Hi all. There will be a team of four trauma counselors (and two of us are art therapists too) from Canada visiting and doing workshops in schools in Ocean Springs, Gulfport, Biloxi and Waveland starting March 9th for a week.
If you are still struggling and want a chance to tell your story and have a pastoral visit, please leave me a message.
While we will be busy in schools, we always have time to meet with someone who would like a chance just to talk.
This will be my fourth trip to the area. We are sending only our best to our American friends in the south.

Barb email:

Labels: , , , , ,

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Calvary Chapel

* Calvary Chapel Kitchen

Recently we were able to purchase a 3800 square foot building on a one acre parcel on Reese Street in the heart of BSL. The building has been fully renovated and is now being used for many long term purposes.

Housing Teams

Beginning September 1, 2006, we will only be receiving teams on the last week of each month. The new property can accommodate up to 50 at a time. For the next few months the primary focus of the teams will be to assist in the development of the new property, the establishing of the church and the assisting to the immediate needs of the locals who are now attending the church.

Youth Center
Along with the cafe the new facility will offer an outside basket ball court, ping pong tables - foos ball tables / games and computors. Our goal is to give the youth of BSL a place to go and call their own.

We are looking to develop a Cafe environment that will provide the community with a place to drop in and get loved on through out each day of the week. We have put a commercial kitchen inside the facility and have poured a patio that will accommodate outside seating. We will be looking for couples / families to help host the property for 1 month at a time. They will basically be responsible for running the small café in the new building.

Community work day Saturday's 9 AM - 2 PM
This is for those who reside in BSL who want to be involved in assisting the ongoing work through CCR.

Worship services:
As most of you know the relief camp on the baseball field drew many from the community with many different needs. One of the greatest needs was the spiritual need, a need to be prayed for and encouraged in God's word. That demand led to the development of regular worship services. On Sundays and Wednesdays a solid group of 30-40 locals now attend the worship services at the new location. Frank Griffin from Baton Rouge is faithfully showing up to shepherd the work. Here is a look at the weekly Bible studies at the camp:

Sunday 10am Frank Griffin - Book of Philippians

Tuesday 7pm Glenn Nelson - New Believers class

The last Sunday of each month we will focus on outreach. We will use future teams to go out and get the word out. Our goal is to provide special music and food to follow on these Sundays.

Long term involvement:
For you that feel called to this work for more of a long term commitment, we would love to hear from you. We are currently setting a schedule for host, worship leaders , grounds keepers, and Cafe workers for the next 6 months.

Many churches have inquired about the opportunity of financially assisting this work in the future. It will take some time for this work to stand on its own financially. A large part of the community that make up the small congregation have lost most or all of their property. We have set up a special account for those church's and individuals who feel the burden to continue supporting BSL financially. You can contact Keri Whitely for more details at

We are encouraging everyone we know to keep this now established work in prayer.

"...praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints." Eph 6:18

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,