My heart broke when I heard that story. I feel a connection with the people of Grand Isle, whether I've met them or not. A week after Hurricane Katrina hit, six of us headed to Louisiana with a semi-truck full of frozen meat and box truck full of other supplies. We drove across the bridge to Grand Isle that was broken in 13 places to take food and supplies to the people of that small barrier island that sits in the Gulf just south of New Orleans. We slept in the mayor's office because it was one of the few buildings left standing. It was quite an adventure and quite a blessing to be a part of helping out in such a tangible way. So many times we heard people who were shocked that we'd come all the way from Ohio tell us that if Ohio was ever in trouble, they'd be there for us.
Later our church planned another trip to help with the clean up of the destruction left by Katrina. When I realized the trip would be over Halloween I decided we had to do something for the kids there to give them some sense of normalcy. The secretary to the mayor of Grand Isle and I together planned a Halloween party for the kids via email. I gathered candy and decorations in Ohio, packed it all up and the kids had a great Halloween party.
Grand Isle became a part of my life. When I hear that name, I always feel a connection. And when I hear a story like the one I heard tonight, its a little hard to take. I don't know if anyone from Grand Isle ever reads this blog. I highly doubt it. But in the midst of this mess I hope they know that we've not forgotten them ... that our hearts hurt for them... and that I sure do wish there was something we could do to help them get through this disaster too.