I’d simply be remiss in my duties as an honest blogger if I didn’t tell you about the efforts of one Dick Carney - a Pitt County man, who among many other things, happens to be my biological Father. He’ll be the first to tell you he’s no saint, but much like my older brother, the urge to help others is deeply engraved in his DNA. When he called me late last week in an uproar over what he saw on his TV, I knew the old goat might very well jump in his pick-up and head South. I just didn’t know how soon.
But don’t take my word for it, Check out what his hometown newspaper, The Daily Reflector says about him in their front page coverage.
Dick Carney, head of the mission operation at Peace Presbyterian Church, received a call for help last week from a church in Thibodaux, La., 45 miles southwest of New Orleans.
The preacher of the 120-member Thibodaux First Presbyterian Church has only heard from eight of his parishioners since Hurricane Katrina hit.
"We know there's a lot of damage to the homes of the members of this particular church," Carney said.
That's about all that Carney and three other men, who have nicknamed themselves the Cajun Country Convoy, know about the area. The group, including Randy Riddle of Hollywood Presbyterian, Danny Gonzalez of Covenant United Methodist and Homer Tyre, plan to stay at the church and work in Thibodaux for two to three weeks.
When they arrive, they'll start by recovering people who are still trapped in their homes. Carney, Riddle and Gonzalez are contractors, so they also plan to clear roofs, clean up demolished areas and build shelters.
Peace Presbyterian, Hollywood Presbyterian and local businesses began collecting money for the mission on Saturday. In two days, they received around $10,000.
"It's so rare that you find that kind of generosity blossom with that kind of speed," said Paul Lang, pastor of Peace Presbyterian.
They already have around 500 health kits and several cases of bleach and water. They still need a lot more, including generators, cleaning supplies, baby and child-care products, nonperishable food, paper products and medical supplies.
"We're getting some direction from the folks down there about what they're short of," Carney said. "Anybody that's bought a generator and feels like they can live without it, that's a definite need."
There are no doubt scores of people just like Carney who, tired of watching tragedy unfold on the tube, have decided instead to leap into action - but there are none I'm more proud of than My Old Man. Both a clever carpenter and trained medic, he is perfect for the task of rescue and reconstruction. He's also a gifted raconteur who promises to keep in touch with his prodigal son via e-mail while he’s down on the Gulf Coast - dispatches I plan to share with my half-dozen readers. Stay Tuned...