Submitted by WE CARE
Written by Laurie Smith
WE CARE Inc. of Louisville, MS says Thank You! Disaster can strike anywhere at any time. No one knows that better than Louisville, MS. In 2014, we made the headlines all over the America after a devastating tornado shattered the lives of so many people in such a small town. Even today there is still evidence of the destruction it left behind. Our lives changed forever. Well, the water crisis in Flint, Michigan gained national attention considering all the people that have been affected. It certainly gained my attention because I have family there.
On January 24, 2016 at 6:43 am I received a message from a relative from Detroit requesting assistance from our family. In response I told her to tell me what we needed to do and that I would ask my church family to donate. We began to try to figure ways to get them water but everything seemed so expensive. How could I make this happen? How would we be able to afford a truck to get the water from here to there?
I knew alone there was not much I could do that would really make a difference, yet I knew something was better than nothing. All day long I just kept trying to figure out what I was going to do. How much water could I afford to send and would it even be enough to matter. Then, this voice in my head said “Take it to Facebook”. I have never liked asking anyone for anything, but this time it seemed too important not to.
At 9:47pm I posted a message asking if any local churches or organizations were working to get water to the people in Flint, Michigan. I went on to tell them about my family there and decided to tag Carnette Lampley Hudson. (Mind you, in December she had asked if I were willing to be a board member of her new founded ministry called WE CARE, to which I said yes.)
Well, that seemed to get the ball rolling. Before I knew anything, Carnette had started making calls and we had our first meeting as We CARE, with Flint, Michigan as our first goal. Flyers were sent to each board member and we announced on February 8, our desire to collect water for those needy families. We posted our announcement on Facebook and at our local churches. Carnette contacted Scott Gregory, who is also a board member, and asked him announce it on WLSM to get the information to a broader area.
With the help of the Louisville Fire Department and Pleasant Ridge Baptist Church in Noxapater we established two drop off points. In conjunction with the board of WE CARE of Louisville, MS, Mt. Moriah Baptist Church, Mt. Bell Baptist Church, Beth-Eden Lutheran Church, Wesley United Methodist Church, World Outreach Church & Bible Training Center, Mt. Pleasant #2 Baptist Church (Noxapater) and Harmony Baptist Church, the wheels began to turn.
It didn’t seem like anyone was responding at first and I had begun to feel a little down. I wondered if anyone really cared. I sent out another plea on Facebook and I even added my porch as a drop off point, if I was away when the water began to arrive.
Like a wildfire things seemed to start blazing up. I received a message that 4 cases of water had been left on my porch. My heart skipped a beat. I received more messages of people wanting to drop off water and asking where they needed to go. Tears of joy began to fill my eyes when Carnette began calling and telling of all the donations headed to and already in the fire department. On my way to prayer meeting a young man from Noxapater told me he would be dropping water off on my porch. My heart was overjoyed. Reverend Anthony McIntosh was a great driving force behind this ministry. He was making announcements and getting young men involved. The Laymen of Mt. Olive/Bethel Harmony District made the announcement at every church they attended that week. Pictures began to be shared all over Facebook and families from Michigan were thanking Mississippi for reaching out.
Now that we had all this water coming in we needed someone to deliver it. Carnette had connected somehow with Cheif Frank Nichols and the Starkville Police Department to have our donations delivered there. The Department there had partnered with a company that would be delivering the water to Flint. All we needed was to get the water from the Louisville Fire Department to the Starkville Police Department. We had volunteers in Louisville, Noxapater, Kemper and other counties ready to load up.
Well, as faith would have it, Reverend McIntosh thought that having all those vehicles delivering water was a bit much. He decided to delegate their church bus as a means of transporting the water to the Starkville Police Department. So he got his crew together and off they went. The second load was carried by Thadeus Thomas, Carl Eichelberger, Annie Thomas, Anthony McIntosh, Cruz Hudson, Billy Metts, Walter Smith and W. L. Hightower and other volunteers.
A special thanks goes out to Minister Annie Thomas, Reverend Anthony McIntosh, Pastor Joe Glass, Evangelist Marquita Rogers, Scott Gregory, Adrine Reed, Wesley United Methodist Church, Mount Olive Bethel Harmony, Chief Frank Nichols and the Starkville Police Department, Louisville Fire Department, the board members of the churches and each and every one who volunteered or donated; especially the young men. None of this would have been possible without you.
Although we are just getting started, with the help of God we will continue to move forward.
I would also like to thank this ministry for truly showing the world that WE CARE.