Walter Riley
“I hope everyone is safe. I have a lot of cousins there in New Orleans. I hope they are OK. We’re praying for them. Here at my church [New Mt. Pilgrim] we’re sending things. We can’t help all, but we can do our part. I hope our pastor and others make it back safely. I feel so sad and sorry for the people who lost their loved ones and everything else. But God is going to make a way.”

Jacqueline Jones
“No, I don’t have any relatives there, but I do have friends that have many relatives there. A young man from my church, his son was missing, but he’s OK, thank God. I think they need everything, but most of all I think they need Jesus. If we can bring some of them back, we can get them involve in the ‘word’ so they can go on about their life. Life is like that with ups and downs, and it’s just making it through those downs. I’m just sorry so many people lost everything they had. It could have been Chicago. There but for the grace of God go I. I’m praying for everyone.”

Eddie Austin
“I don’t have any family there, but I do have some friends in the area, and I am concerned that they are all right, the way the town was taken over 80 percent by the hurricane. It’s sad to see it happen like it did. And I would like for us to help them in any way we can and doing anything possible for them. Just being there for them. I would like to see a lot of them come here to Chicago because so many have lost everything. They could come here and start all over and be able to resume their life, maybe even better their life. My heart goes out to all.”

Bobbie Cottrell
“I am just so thankful to God that the people in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama are finally getting help from our government and our president (I’m not going to say much about him, because we already know). I’m just so thankful for people like Rev. Marshall Hatch and the ministers here on the West Side who have come together and put together a relief for our people. They are getting ready to go down to do what they can. If they can only help 100 people, thank God for that. They do have enough relief funds, food and clothing to feed over 4,000 people, and we’re just happy that we could do that. God is so good, and I thank God. My niece, she lost everything down in Louisiana, but thank God she and her 7-month-old baby are doing fine; they are on dry land. As a people, and people of God of all races, we can come together and do what we can to help our people. When I say people, that means people of all races, people that love God and love each other?”because we are all one in God’s eyesight.”

Mary Bender
“I just thank God for the people of the world today. This relief has caused me to be in tears every time I turn the TV on. My heart just goes out to the unfortunate, and I just thank God that we’re here to help them. The support around the church has been so tremendous. When you see the people bringing things in, you can’t do anything but cry if you know who Christ is today. I’m the church secretary and the phone calls just haven’t stopped. We get so many phone calls, we can’t answer them all. But to everyone we are as one. When God created heaven and earth, he created all of us the same, so let’s reach out and help those that are in need. I don’t care if it’s only a penny; pennies add up to dollars. Just help and thank God for being able to help someone else.”

Pamela Purnell
“I’d like to say to God be the glory, and we’re praying for the people down there, but we also know that God allows things to happen so that the people of God can come forth. So we can minister by word, we can minister by giving food and clothing on the surplus that we have. So we know God is working this thing out. He’s allowed someone to give their life to Christ. He’s restoring. So all things are working together for the good. We know New Mount Pilgrim has always and always will be a church that goes out to minister to the people. We go where the need is. I don’t have relatives there, but I do have friends down there. We’re praying for them. Some are safe and some of them are missing, but through God we know things will be OK. We trust in him and depend on him, but again it just allows us, the people of God to go out and do his work. We’re going to pray for the families that they are all safe.”

Tywalter Henderson
“I do have some family there, but we’ve heard from them. My aunt has some children in Birmingham. We heard from her and she’s safe. Today, we’re going to be getting supplies together and go to the areas to help in any way we can. People are still down there struggling through these hard times. We can’t help everybody personally, but we’re going to help who we can while we can. And I hope everybody takes that initiative so we can resolve this and bring it to a happy conclusion.”