Hurricane Evacuees Celebrate Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Day, a day for taking time to think about the things you're thankful for. Today was especially meaningful, for those in East Texas that have lost so much. One East Texas family understood that and invited some special guests for dinner.

Thursday afternoon, Reverend Jerome Milton and his family opened their hearts and doors to six families, displaced by Hurricane Katrina. Milton says, "With the holiday season we wanted to open up the doors of our homes and embrace those who are hurting and those who need healing." Hurricane Katrina Evacuee, Earnest Smith and his son have been in Tyler since the early part of September. Smith says, "This is a beautiful community I love it and everybody has been giving their blessing and love and I just love it here." Milton says, "They have gone through the experience of the Super Dome, Astrodome and on this Thanksgiving we wanted them to know that this is their home."

This Thanksgiving, Calvin Heard, Hurricane Katrina Evacuee, is especially grateful for the hospitality of the community and the Milton family. Heard says, "It's a beautiful thing for him to do for us, open up his doors this morning. We sure appreciate it, it's a blessing for us to be here. This is home for us know this is a new beginning for us and I think we were meant to be here." Earnest Smith is thankful for his son and new friendships. Smith says, "Our health, strength, being together with family and friends, it couldn't be any better." Milton says, "It was the right thing to do and the right time to do it. It's one thing to say we are Christians and preach to them about the mission and commission but it is another thing to demonstrate it." Our new Tyler residents say they are still taking it one day at a time and have faith that everything will be all right.

Karolyn Davis, reporting.