This I Believe-Greatfulness

Andrea - La Grange, Illinois
Entered on September 28, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

This I Believe

More than 1,600 people killed. Over 200,000 gulf coast homes destroyed leaving 1 million displaced. $25.3 billion in property damage. These are just a few of the statistics that left a devastated area in need of monumental help.

During Spring Break of 2005, my youth group and I took a trip down to Pearlington, Mississippi, just after Hurricane Katrina hit. We stayed inside a stable gym which was all that was left of a destroyed elementary school. Altogether, there was a group of about 150 people donating their time to help the victims of this natural disaster. I decided to go on this trip, because Pearlington is the poorest town in Mississippi, but it is also the smallest which meant it was receiving little to no aid from The Red Cross, FEMA, and other rescue teams. While down there my youth group and I worked on rebuilding churches and homes. It was devastating to look around and see houses destroyed. Just thinking of how these innocent people had such little warning before their everyday lives where completely thrown off. They had nothing left but debris of their belongings and their memories of what they had used to call home. Even through all of the chaos and wreck that Katrina left, they still found joy in everything that they did. They were so grateful for what they had, even though it couldn’t be accounted for anymore. Most days they were happier than I was. Completely enjoying life to its fullest in a time like this. With everything that happened, they were extremely appreciative for all of the help we were providing-even though to us it wasn’t much. One specific time where these people demonstrated this trait was through food. For lunch, the citizens of that town would gather all of the teams volunteering down there and prepare a delicious meal for these 150 or so people. A wonderful buffet of chicken, mashed potatoes, cornbread, fruit, and drinks. Where was this all coming from? I was in aw that these people couldn’t even feed themselves, yet they were giving us all the food they had in return for the work we were giving them.

Traveling down south to Pearlington really taught me a lot about myself. I learned how often I take regular day things for granted. The fact that I have a house, and a good family, and food on the table everyday is something that not everyone has. I’m just really fortunate that I can say that I have those things. That is why I believe in gratefulness.