Eight Days of Hope prepares to help Jackson area flood victims

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PONTOTOC COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) – A faith-based ministry based in Northeast Mississippi has prepared to help those impacted by flooding in the Jackson area.

The trailers were loaded at Eight Days of Hope National Headquarters in Pontotoc County.

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“We’re getting all of our equipment ready to go,” said Chandler Gurley, an administrative assistant with Eight Days of Hope.

Equipment the ministry will take includes a shower trailer,  a trailer full of dehumidifiers, a tool trailer, a feeding trailer and a mobile laundromat.

The “Rapid Response” arm of Eight Days of Hope can be ready within 48-72 hours of a natural disaster.

Chris Chiles is manager of the ministry’s Rapid Response unit and has been in contact with MEMA to prepare for this trip.

“The numbers are between 500-900 houses with water in them, the water is receding. I was just on the phone with a pastor there and his church has 36 inches of water, currently 36 inches of water in it, he doesn’t know what to do, but we have professionals, we know what to do and go down, help them out,” said Chiles.

Eight Days of Hope Rapid Response Team leaders leave Wednesday morning for Jackson with trucks full of equipment and supplies.

The first day for volunteers is Friday and there will be plenty to do.

“They can expect to get dirty, we will be mucking out houses, will be lots of mud in the homes, so I tell everybody, wear clothes you don’t like because some of them aren’t going to be worth washing when you are done,” said Dan Garrick, who is a Rapid Response Manager based in the ministry’s Buffalo New York office.

Garrick will be the on-site manager in Jackson.

While volunteers are never excited about a natural disaster, they do look forward to sharing hope with those they get to help.

“We definitely want to help people physically with their homes, I want people to see the love of Jesus, but we are also there to share the Word of God and to share the love of Jesus with them verbally,” Garrick said.

Eight Days of Hope will have teams of volunteers working in Jackson through March 14th.

Eight Days of Hope provides all of its services free to victims of natural disasters. they also welcome volunteers for the Jackson relief trip.