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Monday, October 31, 2005

Judy McDarris: Giving a Helping Hand to Katrinia Victims

From the Lynchburg Prosecutor's office:

Judy McDarris, a Victim/Witness Assistant at the Lynchburg Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney, returned home from the Gulf Area after spending eight days aiding in Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. Ms. McDarris, along with six other Victim/Witness Assistants, was a part of the Virginia Nova team. The Nova team was deployed to Ocean Springs, Mississippi, with Ms. McDarris specifically assigned to a Disaster Recovery Center in Moss Point, Mississippi.

In Moss Point, Ms. McDarris put her many years of victim/witness experience to good use, helping many elderly victims navigate the complicated FEMA application process. She also offered a listening ear for many victims who were still dealing with the emotional trauma of their loss. When describing her daily activities, Ms. McDarris said, “Many times, I sat with an individual for hours as they waited, listening to them tell their story, giving them encouragement, and wiping some tears away.” Ms. McDarris and her co-workers would then give the victims local FEMA referrals, along with hugs and a pat on the back. The hours in Mississippi were long--sometimes lasting from 5 a.m. until 9 p.m.--but the local residents were appreciative of the efforts from the visiting Virginians. Looking back on her experience, Ms. McDarris said, “Everyone kept their spirits up. Even though we were exhausted by the end of the day, we still had a good feeling that we'd helped someone.”


At 1:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Katrina has really turned into a catch 22 situation. In the beginning I spent days and put in so much effort to get the Hurricane Registry off the ground. It was impossible to achieve the goals I had because of all the red tape from the Red Cross and Fema.

I understand why they were so tight with things. It has been a mess from all sides and then a story like Betty Blair happens and makes you realize just how quickly a life can be lost.
Betty was a church going woman and that is where she met Jimmy Hoang Le, 18, Stephanie Jacobo, 18, both from the Beaumont area, and Roosevelt Smith Jr., 43, of Louisiana. She hired these three to help around her home and paid with her life for it.

The registry I Started on Sept 2nd is here.

I will try to find more info on Betty .
I heard about her on a news channel that does not have a web site.

At 7:43 PM, Blogger B O B said...

Thank you Steve for your comment. It is suprising and terrible that there are still missing children, left in Katrina's wake. I hope that there can be some happy resolutions, with families finding their children. Thanks for staying on top of this.

At 8:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hope your having a great Halloween and here is the news source on Betty.

At 8:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

since that link was too long maybe this will work.

At 10:35 PM, Blogger B O B said...

Thanks for the links Steve, I have been reading.


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