Sunday, October 16, 2005

Campground owner takes on motherly role to evacuees

When Ozzie Givens signed a contract allowing FEMA to set 60 campers on her site -- with an agreement for at least 90 more to come -- she didn't just open up her business but her home.

"You know what my problem is, I don't know how far my responsibility goes," Givens explained. "But I do know one thing, I'm not going to let anybody go without."

Givens gets to the campground early in the morning and doesn't leave until after 8 p.m., Bernard said. Givens drives around in her golf cart and asks each person staying in the campers if he needs anything before she retires for the night, Bernard said.

Givens also knows each camper by name, keeping a private list of the FEMA residents that details any medical needs or whether they lack food, transportation or a job.

She also knows which contractors renting RV spots in the campgrounds need workers and has paired evacuees wanting the work with them.

Perhaps one of the more important ways she helps her displaced residents is by cajoling federal and local officials until the residents have what they need. She gets the name and telephone numbers of each official who visits the campground to call when problems arise. Full Story...

JC Whitney - Truck, SUV and Van





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