On Saturday, Missy Jaeger and her brother Tony Frickey drove nonstop up from Louisiana in a rented truck full of relief supplies donated by 30 friends, some with little notes appended to them. Louisianans gathered together supplies ranging from water boots and shovels to hula-hoops, bleach and dehumidifiers.
Jaeger, a lead coordinator for NOLA “Gives Back,” had followed Mad River Valley Flood Relief efforts on Facebook from the second day of the flood. She coordinated an effort between the Vermont Freemasons and NOLA (New Orleans Louisiana) “Gives Back.”
She and her brother wanted personally to deliver their truckload but did not, at first, know where to go. They called a relief center and were told to donate to the Red Cross, but they overheard someone shouting, “Call the Masonic Lodge in Waitsfield!”
After making contact, Jaeger and her brother Tony got a truck and headed north as soon as possible. As survivors of Hurricane Katrina, they knew firsthand what it’s like to be without everything after such devastation.
They arrived exhausted late on Saturday, September 17, were warmly welcomed by some of the Masons and spent the night gratis at a local inn. On Sunday morning, September 18, they got up at the crack of dawn, went to the Masonic Lodge where they peeled five pounds of Gulf shrimp and made a delicious breakfast of Creole shrimp and grits for the volunteers.
They told volunteer relief workers that after Katrina there had been seven feet of water in Frickey’s house and that they had gotten a lot of similar help. Until then, Frickey said he had never known what true humanitarianism was and wanted to come to Vermont in order to give back.
On Sunday afternoon, after dropping off the truck, they flew home on plane tickets paid for by Frickey’s boss.