Music will help Katrina survivors back on their feet
October 16, 2005
Sumter County-- It's been almost two months since Hurricane Katrina swept through the Gulf Coast states and left many without homes. The storm has ended but the giving continues in South Georgia for evacuees.
Sometimes it takes something as simple as a song or even a dance to make a difference. "I said hey let's use the resources. We have plenty of talent here in Americus, Georgia," says organizer Alesia Snipes Sanders. The Sumter Area Ministerial Association and the Rylander Theatre combined the two in an effort to support Hurricane Katrina evacuees. They also got different people from the area together for a commUNITY choir.
"That was what we were trying to present and to see all of the voices together from all denominations, we really came together," says Snipes. Right in the center of the choir are two people who have something to sing about.
"God, God, if you went through something that we just encountered and to make it through and the house that you were in is literally falling apart in 175 mile per hour winds, you'll sing too," says Corey and Danelle Dorsey. For the Dorseys, their experiences can be compared to a song. It has a beginning in Gulfport, Mississippi during the storm.
"It sounded like screaming women and cats. You heard the wind and the house that we were in, you could actually see the walls sink in," says Danelle. The middle began after the storm by facing it together. "We went home to get married on the 29th. That was a Thursday night. Went home and got married at about 3 o'clock and came back, came right back," says Corey.
They're back in Americus but this song won't end. It's a happy one. "People said that when we got here. 'You are so happy, wow! We're just like man we're alive, we can breathe," says Danelle and Corey. And they can continue to sing with the support of new friends. "From the beginning until the end," says Corey.
They will now join together and lift their voices in that song and the message is unity. "You pray for me. I'll pray for you. I need you to survive," says Danelle and Corey. They're already survivors. "We have a lot to be thankful for," says Danelle. But movement and music will continue to get them through.
The event was free for the public but donations were taken. The money will go towards basic needs like food and clothing. New Horizons Habitat for Humanity is also providing some housing for evacuees in Sumter County. The homes will be rent free for six months.