New Orleans Evacuee Volunteers in B/CS

By: Kristen Ross Email
By: Kristen Ross Email

It was just three years ago that the Brazos Valley opened up it's doors to Katrina and Rita evacuees.

Now Gustav is bringing some of those same people back to Bryan/College Station to wait out another hurricane.

It's an experience April Jones hoped she'd never experience again, let alone twice in such a short time.

"I knew exactly that I had to leave," Hurricane Victim April Jones said. "I had to get my family and we had to leave because of what happened before with Hurricane Katrina."

But it's a drill, she's become quite familiar with.

April found shelter in Bryan/College Station after Katrina and even made it her home for two years before heading back to New Orleans.

"I've only been home for a couple of months now and this happens again," Jones said. "It's hard, but the Lord has my back."

Countless volunteers have flooded the Brazos Valley eager to help in any way they can.

Whether it be providing a hot meal...

"We're cooking for all the shelters in this area. I put out a thousand meals two times yesterday," Travis Maymard with Texas Baptist Men said.

Or putting a roof over evacuees heads...

"We're providing just a nice place to sleep, and areas where they can eat and enjoy some games and just watch the news," First Baptist Church Bryan Pastor Tim Owens said.

They are all things that made a big impact on April the first time around...

"I'm like oh I'm going to go volunteer," Jones said.

Now back in Bryan/College Station waiting out a major hurricane once again April's rolling up her sleeves and getting her hands a little dirty to keep her mind off the bigger things going on back home.

"I want to know what's going on with my home," Jones said. "I want to know if my family is ok, you know everybody did leave but it's still a lot of stress worrying about what's next.

Stress April says she is trying to leave behind, for now.

"It's a relief to come out and know that people are going through the same thing I am going through and I'm much stronger to come out and help also," Jones said.


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