BROOKFIELD -- Seven years ago, 26 volunteer teams from Elmbrook Church in Brookfield started making monthly trips to the Gulf Coast to help with recovery in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Now, those church members are gearing up for a return trip because of Hurricane Isaac.
Seven years ago, those volunteers went to the region first to help feed people displaced by Katrina. Later, they showed up to help rebuild the region.
Mary Ann Lee, Disaster Relief Coordinator for Elmbrook Church, made several trips herself. Now, she's getting church volunteers ready for Isaac.
"We never know where we're going to be called, so we just wait. We have sent out the first email to those immediate responders that we have on our list -- about 50 of them. We have another 150 that usually do rebuild or followup," Lee said.
During their mission trips, the Elmbrook Church volunteers have formed lasting friendships while helping people recover from disasters materially and emotionally.
"When we were in Biloxi we were with those people three and a half years. Some of them weren't speaking of their experiences until three years later. Because we had formed friendships with them and they knew we cared, all of a sudden we'd be talking and they just would start to cry," Lee said.
Lee says they've already made the calls to their Biloxi friends saying, "We'll be there if you need us."
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