Rachel Dangermond and the 100 WOMEN DBA will commemorate the fifteenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina the way the people of Bay St. Louis know best – by giving back to their community.
- Story by Dena Temple
It is no surprise, then, that Rachel and the women’s group of the 100 Men Hall known as the 100 WOMEN DBA will be holding a “Food 4 Youth” food drive on the fifteenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Saturday, August 29. Giving back is what she does best.
“What we learned from that tragedy is where systems failed us, our community saved us,” said Rachel. “The outpouring of love from neighbors and strangers to those in need was overwhelming and crossed all the boundaries that keep us apart - racial, political, and all the rest.
“Instead of focusing on what happened then, let’s focus on who needs us now. Service is our highest calling.”
This is not the first food drive undertaken by the group. Working with Pearlington Impact, earlier this summer the group made up 100 bags of non-perishable food items, plus something unexpected: notes of encouragement from the NAACP Youth and College Division; “How to write a love letter” materials from The Writing Room at 100 Men Hall; and art kits from Ann Madden. Cash donations were converted into food by volunteer shoppers, and the food baskets were distributed in four locations around the county.
“We dropped off the bags, and it was first-come, first-served,” said Rachel. “We hoped that people would take what they needed and leave the rest.” All of the bags were gone before noon.
“Sadly, we did have someone take nine bags from the Kiln Library.” She sighed. “I hope that those nine bags went to kids who needed them.”
This time around, Rachel says, “we know better what to do with the bagging and distribution.” There are three efforts to feed food-insecure students in Hancock County; two are by churches, First Baptist Church and Christ Episcopal Church, and one from the Hancock Rotary.
“The schools that the churches serve are not meeting face to face, so their ‘Backpack Buddies’ program is on hold. We hope to fill the gap with the 100 WOMEN DBA Food 4 Youth.”
Working with Christ Episcopal Church, the 100 WOMEN DBA will provide food bags for youth in need on August 29 at the 100 Men Hall, and the public libraries in Waveland, Kiln and Pearlington.
The food bags will be available after 10 am at the front of each institution. They will contain nonperishable items that could easily be prepared by youth; personal care items such as shampoo and lotion; and notes of encouragement from the NAACP Youth & College Division teens.
Donations of nonperishable goods and personal care items are being accepted through August 28 at the 100 Men Hall and can be dropped off on the front porch. Cash donations are also being accepted either through their website, or via check payable to/mailed to 100 Men Hall, 303 Union Street, Bay St. Louis, MS 39520.
Suggested food items to be donated:
Personal care items being accepted:
Rachel is quite pleased with their progress so far.
“We are already ahead of where we were last month in terms of synergy,” she said. “Sally Isaacs of the Hancock Chamber of Commerce reached out to fast-food Chamber members for donations – and Domino’s Pizza donated 100 gift certificates! We are thrilled at the amount of community support we are seeing for this effort.”
She concluded, “The 100 WOMEN DBA is all about using leverage to help those who are underrepresented and underserved. When we see organizations like Gulfside Assembly, the Hancock Chamber and Domino’s coming through for food-insecure children, we know we are making a difference.”