Over the past year I’ve written a fair amount about the many volunteers who’ve enriched the community in Katrina’s aftermath. A far better kept secret is Mississippi’s philanthropic nature. It makes sense when you consider we lead the nation in houses of worship per capita. The intersection of the two have been personally enriching to watch. Last December for example on the old blog we posted a video of the Coast Chorale December 2005 Christmas Concert held with the help of a group of Broadway entertainers who volunteered their time here and in New Orleans then. Since then we covered the Chorale’s trip to DC and Philadelphia suburbs as they thanked the non profits from those places that stepped up for the people at Katrina ground zero.
The group from Buck-Mont Pennsylvania is currently building the new food pantry in Hancock County and it is there we start. Those that *know* me know we are food panty positive at casa Sop. In fact that lady who coordinates the volunteers is most persuasive thus “little Sop” has been an occasional volunteer there. The group of 5 volunteers that literally feed thousands in Hancock County were profiled by WLOX earlier this week. The following evening this story ran, Food Pantries are cyclical endeavors and actually need more support when times are tough:
South Mississippi food pantries say they can already feel the pinch of the economic downturn as more people are coming in asking for help feeding their families. A growing number of families are struggling to stretch their dollars, and many are coming up short.
Whatever food is put on the pantry shelf today, the director of the De l’Epee Deaf Center says will be given out within two weeks.
“The large need was there for several years after Katrina. We were finally seeing a decline,” director Greg Crapo said. “Then with the economy with the last several months, all of a sudden it has spiked right back up again and our numbers are higher than ever.”
As with after Katrina one thing we all have to give is our time and talents. Since this is the Christmas season it means the Caost Chorale will be doing their free Christmas concerts. The Sun Herald details two upcoming events here and here:
The Coast Chorale will present a free Christmas concert at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Diamondhead Baptist Church.
The Coast Chorale, formed in 1991, is a volunteer group of singers under the direction of Joy P. Mehrtens. This group had 50 voices strong until Hurricane Katrina scattered many of the charter members all over the country.
“Through determination, and a love of singing, and giving back to the community, the members remaining began performing in October 2005, and have traveled throughout the United States to thank the many volunteers who came down to the Coast to help with our rebuilding efforts,” according to a press statement.
The Coast Chorale will also be caroling along the streets of Old Town Bay St. Louis, and in conjunction with the Friends of the Animals, will be sponsoring and performing during the Tour of Homes on Sunday, Dec. 14.
“In addition to regional performances, past venues have included two trips to Carnegie Hall; Verona, Italy, where they placed third in international competition; and by invitation, Vienna, Austria. Another trip is planned for June 2009.”
Eight Bay St. Louis homes are included in the annual Holiday Tour of Homes, part of the city’s Second Saturday Weekend Spectacular.
The tour is Sunday, Dec. 14, from 1 to 4 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 the day of the tour. Advance tickets are available by calling 466-0135 or at the Purple Snapper of Serenity Place, Main Street, 493-5712.
The event will be benefit the Coast Chorale and Friends of the Animals.
For an advance look at the houses on the tour, see @Home on Dec. 12.