Rebuilding after Katrina
A fter Hurricane Katrina leveled the yacht club where the Rotary Club of Pass Christian, Mississippi, USA, gathered each week, members wondered if they would ever meet together again.
The 2005 hurricane destroyed nearly all other buildings in town, but the club was unwilling to give up: It began meeting a couple of weeks later on an outdoor concrete slab at an abandoned gas station.
Today, the members are back at the yacht club, carrying on the mission of their 2005-06 president, D.H. Short, who died in 2008.
After the hurricane, Short resolved to help Pass Christian rebuild. "Our town was devastated, but our Rotary spirit survived the storm," he said in 2006.
At his own expense, Short, whose home was wiped out by Katrina, began a two-year odyssey across North America and the Caribbean, visiting more than 150 clubs to ask for their assistance. Their donations and others helped
- Restore 39 homes for Pass Christian’s low-income families
- Purchase two dump trucks for about $75,000 each
- Reconstruct 20,000 feet of sewer lines in the city’s historical center
- Rebuild the library, complete with new sections for children and adults with disabilities