Truly an act of love
October 11, 2005
Dear Editor:My name is Andrew Baldree. I am from the small town of Pearlington, Miss., which has been receiving aid from your readers. I currently live in Fort Collins because of an assignment as a missionary from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. My family has been in Pearlington since its founding in the very early 1700s. We owned/built four homes and several rental properties in that beautiful little town in the swamp. Only one remains in good condition. My entire family has been impacted by this storm.For the past three centuries, Pearlington has remained isolated and largely forgotten, for which I am thankful. People have their way of messing up a good thing, if you understand what I mean. After Katrina hit, the town continued to be forgotten. Finally, help came to the devastated town. It took several days for anyone to even realize that there was a town there! I have been told by my uncle (who is a county supervisor) that almost 98 percent of my little town has been destroyed. My father tells me by phone that there are people sitting on overturned five-gallon buckets, staring at the pile of wreckage that once housed their families. These poor people have nowhere to go and nothing to take with them if they did have a place to go. They lost absolutely everything but their lives. Some even lost that. As you can see, there is a definite need for assistance. As I scan the news about my wonderful town, I continually find reports of the people in the Roaring Fork area have “adopted” my hometown and its beautiful people. For all of us from Pearlington, I express gratitude. What a great act of service and love it is to give to people you don’t know and to help those you will never meet and to support a town that may not even be on your maps.There is no reward on Earth great enough to repay your readers for this charity.I will soon return to Mississippi. I finish my missionary labors at the beginning of October. Before I leave, I wanted to say thanks to my newfound family in the great state of Colorado.Elder Andrew J. BaldreePearlington, Miss.