This I Believe

brittany - long beach, Mississippi
Entered on April 17, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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Hurricane Katrina devastated Long Beach Mississippi in August of 2005. My family and I spent hours just watching and listing to the storm rage and destroy everything in its path. The day after the hurricane my stepfather, mother (Dr. and Mrs. Leatherwood) and I went down to the shelter to see if we could be of any assistance. Over the next few weeks, the three of us and many other volunteers from our community made survival possible. My stepfather, Popi as I call him and my mother emptied their office of medicine and supplies to bring to the shelter and had family in Alabama ship an eighteen-wheeler of supplies as well. Looking around it felt as if we were in a third world country. I assisted my parents in emergency treatment of many patients that would have not made it would out medical attention. We had diabetics with no medicine, people’s legs had burns and blisters from escaping flooded homes and some had even lost limbs and appendages. Any doctor could have afforded to take his family away to a nice resort somewhere and come back when things got better, but as my parents always do, they stayed to help with the aftermath. The look in the eyes of the people we helped was just amazing. No amount of money could ever replace those looks. The firefighters and police officers who were working with us at the shelter showed extreme gratitude towards my parents for the helping hand they lent down in such a time of need, because many of them would not have been able to continue working with the respiratory infection they had contracted from the conditions. I do not dare think of how things would have been if the leaders in our community had not pulled together as they did. To me, my parents have taught me it can be wonderful to help others and be completely selfless. The firefighters, police officers, and my parents are my inspiration. I believe in the people who make this world better.