Monday, February 05, 2007

Hope is not a 4 letter word

I had hoped to be in Pearlington today. With hugs and smiles all around. Foundations poured and ready for frames, the skeletons of houses delivered on trucks..

I had hoped to be in Pearlington today, putting the last minute touches on a blanket that has traveled around the world to warm the Earl family.

I had hoped to be in Pearlington today, and work hard all week, building and raising 4 homes, symbols of hope in a broken little town.

I had hoped to be in Pearlington today.. but I am here at home.

I still hope, I still dream and I know that by year's end I will be in Pearlington, sitting on the Earl's porch after a weeks' worth of hard work and effort, building their home and three others. I will sit on the porch and relax, and knit..and witness a new start for these families.

Through donations and grants and spreading the word.. this will come to pass.. help us make it so..

Thursday, January 18, 2007

My Name is Earl..

Allow me to introduce you to the Earl Family:Toby,Yvette, Brittany, and Michael. (Toby was not available for this photo.) Nearly a year and a half ago, they lost their home when Hurricane Katrina hit the small town of Pearlington, MS.

I have been working to help the residents of Pearlington, MS through my blog, and a website called Purls of Hope. I have been working to support the Pearlington Project Katrina Foundation, which was started by Angela Cole, shortly after Katrina hit.

The Earl family survived Hurricane Katrina. However, floodwaters reached the attic of their home and they lost everything. In spite of their own losses, they reached-out and helped their neighbors. At one point in those first few months after Katrina, they had over 20 people camping on their property - people who had nowhere else to go.

Yvette is a great cook and was a cook at the little local restaurant on Main Street in Pearlington. However, it, too was washed away in the storm. She has spent the last year caring-for her family and her elderly father.

Brittany is 12 years old and this has been a tough year for her. Her grandmother (Yvette’s mother) never recovered from the shock of the storm and died this past year. Brittany loves animals and wants to be a vet one day. She lost most of her animals in the storm, but has taken-in many “Katrina stray” dogs and cats.

The father of the family, Toby, was a fisherman prior to Katrina. He lost his big boat in the storm - it’s still lodged in the tree where Katrina blew it. Yet, never one to quit, Toby salvaged a little flat boat and goes out into the bay fishing for crabs every day the weather allows.

Michael is 9 years old and loves the outdoors. He often goes fishing with his dad. Michael also loves sports and wants to play football some day. Its hard for the kids to participate in sports because the kids from Pearlington are still bused an hour each way to school. So, they can’t stay after school and participate in activities like other kids; they have to catch the bus and get back to Pearlington.

There’s no question this disaster has hit children and the elderly the hardest. The kids wonder if they’ll ever have a home again and are more anxious than they were prior to Katrina. Getting these children “back home” is the first step to restoring stability to their lives. The FEMA trailers which are home to many families like the Earl family are going to be removed at the end of February. Trust me… FEMA has already notified them they ARE coming. They need a home now!

The Pearlington Project Katrina Foundation has a plan. They have volunteer builders lined up for an organized Building Blitz to take place in Pearlington during the first week of February. They will be building homes for four families. These are the forgotten of the forgotten victims of Katrina.

Some of you may have already helped the residents of the town of Pearlington by sending care kits through Purls of Hope. The Earl family and the other families in Pearlington are counting on you for one last push. Together, we can bring the people of Pearlington the rest of the way home.

Please begin by going to the Pearlington Project Katrina Foundation website. Read their stories, read about their struggles. View the multiple clips of coverage by CNN that has chronicled the struggles of this small town over the last year and a half.

Then please donate what you can toward the building fund. Your donation is tax deductable.

I am focusing on helping the Earl family rebuild their home, through my blog and my charity website Purls of Hope. It will take $45,000 to rebuild their home. Here is the site where it will be built. That seems like a big number, but in reality it's not. Not with the big team that we knit bloggers are! We can do it! If Stephanie can raise $120,000 in 72 hours well then we can do this right? 100% of the monies goes to the building, 100%. Anything raised over the $45,000 will go to the other houses being built in the blitz! Lets work together and get this done, a small donation a large donation whatever you can give will help. A house is built one brick at a time..

I don’t know about you, but when I look in the eyes of Micheal I see something special. I see hope. Which is something I haven’t seen in the eyes of the residents of Pearlington since I have learned of their plight. Please join with me, in getting the Earl Family back home!

I also need your help spreading the word. If you have a blog, please, at minimum, put a link to The Pearlington Project Katrina Foundation website, or link directly to it: Please, if you are willing, write a short post about this effort, simply referring people to or the foundation website. Here is a button you can use for the foundtation’s website. Please right click on it and save it to your local files before using it.

So, if you can’t give, PLEASE spread the word.

If you have an organization, house of faith, company or coop, consider asking them to help contribute to this effort! I would love to get an email from those of you who make a donation, I will be trying to keep a tally of how much is donated. and if you who have helped out with a link or a post.. so please email me at DLayman at neo dot rr dot com!

Thanks for sticking through this long post…

Together we will build a house, we will make a difference!

Update: We have $20,000 donated toward the total goal of $120,000 to rebuild the four target homes in Pearlington. As you know the goal for rebuilding just the Earl's home is $45,000 so there is still not enough to rebuild even one home. So please, keep getting the word out, keep encouraging your local company, house of worship, civic groups to get involved!

Sunday, January 14, 2007


Pearlington, Mississippi: An Update
by Angela J. Cole

Sometimes there comes a crack in Time itself.
Sometimes the earth is torn by something blind.
Sometimes an image that has stood so long
It seems implanted as the polar star
Is moved against an unfathomed force....

From John Brown's Body
Stephen Vincent Benet

On August 29, 2005, the unfathomed force of Hurricane Katrina toppled and then trampled every structure in its path in Pearlington, Mississippi. Blind to faith, it crushed Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, and AME churches. Blind to hope, it crushed the walls of the school that educated generations past, present, and future. Blind to color, it crushed the cars and homes of Black and White. Blind to age, it crushed the life's work of eighty year olds and the life's beginnings of eight year olds. At best, the images horrified and called some of us to action; worse, the images never reached us at all; or worse yet, we saw them and closed our eyes to dream of things less troubling.

For, certainly, the pictures of complete devastation and utter ruin that you saw in my online photo galleries could not have been taken in 2006 to document a catastophic event that occurred in the wealthiest nation on earth in 2005. Certainly, in this land of excess we could not turn a deaf ear to the voice of a 6 year old child whose only wish a year after Katrina was for "a better life," the chilling clarity of his soft, paper-thin voice brought into our homes by CNN only 4 months ago. Certainly, foundations and entertainers and television show hosts and professional athletes could not see pictures of a twelve year old girl doing the family laundry outside under a tarp and refuse to help on the grounds of what they had done for New Orleans a year before. Certainly, those with the resources to bring hope and homes to the people of Pearlington could not walk with me and smell the sewage, march in the muck, and stare into the dulled eyes of eighty year old veterans with nothing left and tell me - tell those people - they could not sing a song, make a call, air a segment, or write a check. Certainly, this could not happen now; this could not happen here. But, certainly, over the past 4 months especially, all of these things have happened - here -within our own borders to our own people. Why? Quite simply, they are the rural poor. Geographically, they are hidden behind a wall of tall, Mississippi pines; economically, they are buried under the debris of debt and loss amost 1.5 years after the unfathomed force became fathomable. There are no bright lights of Bourbon Street in Pearlington. There is only a long, dark, seemingly endless road to where?

To those of you who have joined with me these past eighteen months or so, I say thank you. Together, we have clothed, fed, and provided temporary shelter to many. I say thank you to CNN anchor, Soledad O'Brien, CNN Senior Producer, Rose Arce, and CNN Senior Photojournalist, Ric Blackburn, for their continued coverage of the story of neglect in Pearlington, MS. I thank those of you who attended the recent fundraiser for the Pearlington Project Katrina Foundation, the nonprofit I formed to restore permanent homes to the people of Pearlington. Even though the event was sold-out with CNN anchor Soledad O'Brien as the keynote speaker, we did not raise enough funds to proceed with building even one house at this time. I have been told the Foundation was awarded a large, community development grant. However, it is part of a much larger Gulf Coast aid package. As such, all funds will be released simultaneously. There is no date given for the release of funds; and, as those of you involved with grant funding know, the larger the package and the longer the wait, the greater the opportunity for those funds to be allocated elsewhere.

And, so, the forgotten of the forgotten continue to wait. Habitat for Humanity is not in Pearlington; there is no large aid organization building homes at all. To be fair, there are some church groups in Pearlington who start homes. These houses take months to finish, if they are completed at all. There is no organization in Pearlington with a plan to start, finish, and furnish homes within a specific, tight timeframe - none, that is, except the Pearlington Project Katrina Foundation. We have the plan, the leadership, and the volunteers. We lack only the funding.

The people of Pearlington - the tax paying people of a poor Southern state - should not be at this place on this day at this time. But, these our brothers and sisters and mothers and fathers and sons and daughters remain at this awful place on this never-ending day at this crack in Time itself. The rest of the passage from John Brown's Body reads:

That force exists and moves.
And when it moves
It will employ a hard and actual stone
To batter into bits an actual wall
And change the actual scheme of things.

It is past time to change the actual scheme of things for the people of Pearlington, MS. The question is: Will we?

Continuing in Peace and Justice,

Angela J. Cole, MPH, RN

The Pearlington Project Katrina Foundation, Inc.
PO Box 127
Rhinebeck, NY 12572


Saturday, January 13, 2007

REV up the random number generator!

I am dropping this post from 1/16 down out of the way!
Thank you to all the people who donated prizes, and especially to those who donated!

Ok and the winners are:

Anne B. -Knitting Loom Primer

Lacey D.- the loverly Lorna's Laces sock yarn!

Ester S. - Beautiful Knitting

and in our final catagory..

Beckie T- Learn New Stitches on Circle Looms!

Congratulations to our drawing winners and thanks to those who donated prizes to tempt them into donating!

We are still working hard here are the totals:

We have $20,000 donated toward the total goal of $120,000 to rebuild the four target homes in Pearlington. As you know the goal for rebuilding just the Earl's home is $45,000 so there is still not enough to rebuild even one home. So please, keep getting the word out, keep encouraging your local company, house of worship, civic groups to get involved!
Please send them to the Pearlington Project website so they can learn more!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Delays all around..

I have not done the drawing of the recently donated items.. sorry I have been sick this week, and now my little guy is sick so I am focusing a bit on him. I will get the drawing done on the 15th. So if you haven't made a donation and you want to get in.. go ahead.. in my condition I won't even notice it's late..

The building blitz is being delayed. I am unsure what this means in regards to interum housing when the FEMA trailers are pulled out. It is purely a funding problem at this point. Everyone is poised and ready to take action as soon as the funding is secured.. so please keep getting the word out and perhaps we can still build in February.. I will have some more details later!
Thanks for your support and thanks for your patience!

Friday, December 29, 2006

Let's go team!!

I am amazed and at the same time humbled by the charity of knitters.. in Stephanie’s(a.k.a. The Yarn Harlot) words.. we are a big team.. a force to be reckoned with. So I call on you to show the world just what a force we are..
I know I have been talking about The Pearlington Project for a long time.. but the need is still there and current and is not going to be done till we are standing on the porches of houses of Pearlington..
The big goal:Raise $150,000 to cover the cost of materials with all volunteer labor to house 7 children and 5 adults. This is for 4 houses..
My part at Knitters Build a House is working to raise $45,000 for the Earl Family.
The Pearlington Project Katrina Foundation can bring this family home but only with your help. There are roughly 350 of you who will read this entry. If each one of you make a tax-deductible donation of only $10 to the Foundation and then send this linkor post it on your own blog and get at least 5 of your friends and colleagues and ask them to do the same, we will have $35,000 of the $45,000 needed. It is that simple and that doable. If you can donate more, I respectfully ask that you consider doing so. If you alone can not donate $10, I would ask that you please do what you can. Perhaps, your employer, school, church, or gym will help. Donate online at or via regular mail at the address below:
The Pearlington Project Katrina Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)3 nonprofit foundation
PO Box 127
Rhinebeck, NY 12572

Thursday, December 21, 2006

More treasures to tempt you..

With the last drawing over I have a couple more items to tempt you into donations!*
First up is the new loom knitting book:
Learn New Stitches on Circle Looms by Anne Bipes Donated by Anne herself!

Also a few more things for my needle knitting friends..
an offer of the book Beautiful Knitting by Luce Smits (this is a beautiful book!)

And 1 skein of Lorna's Laces Shepard Sock in the Aslan colourway..

Also Isela is donating a copy of her new book Loom Knitting Primer the lucky winner will recieve a copy when they come out in February!

Remember to be elgible to be in the drawing for these items please:
1. Make a donation to The Pearlington Foundation
2. Email me and tell me.. DLayman at neo dot rr dot com
3. If you want to specifically be in the drawing for any loom knitting items add the word loom to your subject line!

The deadline this time around will be December 31. So get those donations in! Remember they are tax deductable in the U.S. and your donation goes directly to paying for building materials to rebuild the homes of the families in Pearlington Mississippi!
Thank you all!

I will be back with any more updates as they come in!

The knitty gritty.. again these items have been donated by private parties as a little incentive to get people out to donate.. they are not from the Pearlington Foundation itself, and should not be construed as such.