Coonhunters For Christ Answer Call For Help:
JANICE - Food was running low in this Perry County community, so the Rev. Dean Cook turned to a reliable source for help - his fellow board members with Coonhunters for Christ.
It didn't take much, Cook said, for the nonprofit group to come through. A phone call to Tennessee, a few postings on the Internet and before long a 40-foot trailer was on the way with clothes, canned goods and diapers.
"A lot of people were worrying about red tape," Cook said of the relief effort after Hurricane Katrina. "Our spontaneous action helped us reach people quicker."
The members of Janice Baptist Church, where Cook is pastor, turned their sanctuary into a food pantry in the days after the hurricane. Glass jars of baby food were neatly stacked on the wooden pews alongside razors, shampoo, socks, ibuprofen and toothpaste. And, of course, plenty of Bibles.
As rural Perry County residents watched their water and food dwindle in the days after the hurricane, members of the church stepped up to fill the void.
"We couldn't get anything out of our politicians," said Bob Goolsby, director of missions for the Perry County Baptist Association. "So we started making phone calls."
The result was so successful that, according to Cook, the church has started shipping some of its own donated food to a kitchen run by the American Red Cross in Wiggins. About 300 gallons of vegetables were taken there over the weekend, he said, and more food was headed to Wiggins on Tuesday. In return, the Red Cross has sent meals ready to eat up to Janice.
Officials at the church said the rural area also has received help from the Janice Volunteer Fire Department, and from the Perry County Sheriff's Department.
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