Kindnesses abound after storm

Published 1:54 am Wednesday, September 22, 2004

By Staff
The damage does not upset me much.
But when I stop to consider the many acts of kindness I've witnessed in the past week, it takes everything I can do to keep from weeping.
Our friend Elise Crook was extremely worried about the tree that fell across her bedroom as Hurricane Ivan tore through Atmore.
Her sons were unable to get to her, and one person had offered to take the tree off the house for $5,000.
As she pondered what to do, help arrived in the form of Christian Disaster Relief, a Mennonite organization. Within hours, the tree was removed and her house was protected against rain. That job finished, the crew moved on to help others of her Pensacola Avenue neighbors while similar crews helped people in other parts of the city.
Mininger said as soon as it was evident that people near the Walnut Hill Church would suffer the effects of Hurricane Ivan, fellow Mennonites from Mississippi and Louisiana began traveling toward Walnut Hill.
The workers are being housed in the Mennonite Church in Walnut Hill and fed by members of the church.
Mininger said while he and other members of his church had damage, most of it was not to homes.
As the storm raged early Thursday, two trees ripped through the home of Brewton native Martha Morman Staff, who was home alone. Hysterical, she called her brother-in-law, Dale TIms, who went out at 3 a.m. to get her. He and Grover Smith, who performed a similar feat for the Whitmans that was reported in Wednesday's paper, are as brave as anyone I know.
Mary Helen and John Graham were among the first people in Atmore to have power restored at their home. John says it's because he's been "living at the foot of the cross." I think it's because someone up there knew Mary Helen would use the power to do good.
Hot meals for friends without power was among her good works. Fresh laundry and shared shower facilities were others. She's the best.
This one is the sweetest yet. Ten-year-old Carlee Gohagen's home was destroyed by Ivan. She and her family are living in a travel trailer behind her mom's restaurant, The Wishing Well, just across the Florida line from Atmore.
When the family saw a man walking with packs on his back this week, they called him over to share some of their food. As they talked, they learned he was trying to get to Tallahassee.
Carlee, whose family had lost most everything, gave him the brand new bike she just received for her birthday.
Every day, there are more signs of hope. More help arrives, more power is restored, more people get farther along the long path to recovery. You probably know many more good stories than we do. Please share them with us, so that we can share them with our readers.