Local Woman and her Daughter Volunteer at Camp Edwards with the
Victims of Katrina
"It was one of the lowest points in Brunelle's life, she had just come out of treatment for thyroid cancer and had buried her grandfather. But the victims of the hurricane taught Brunelle a lesson. “People with nothing left to their name inspired me. They were all happy to be alive. They taught me never to take anything for granted." she said."
Writer Alice Elwell, The Brockton Enterprise.


Wareham Currier, October 2006
"Seven months after Lorna's surgery and days after
losing her grandfather to lung cancer, she and her
mother decided to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina by volunteering at Camp Edwards."


7 months after her surgery Lorna and her mother Wanda helped
the victims of Hurricane Katrina on Camp Edwards in
Massachusetts. Photo: Lorna with Mass Governor Mitt
Romney at Camp Edwards October 2005


Wanda Howard of Buzzard’s Bay, and her
daughter Lorna Brunelle of Middleboro,
have been volunteering at Camp Edwards
for the past week.

“My father passed away the last week in
August this year.”  Says Howard, “We were
visiting his site at the National Cemetery and
I saw volunteer signs on the base. My daughter and I followed the signs to the Barnstable County Corrections Facility. They were setting up a tent for volunteers. We filled out the paper work and within a few hours, we were called to return for our photo identification.”


Lorna with Katrina victims on Camp
Edwards Oct/Nov 2005

Wanda and her daughter were called for a few assignments but were released. About two weeks later, they were called to work in the evenings with the elderly guests on base. Their job was to mingle with the guests and see if they had any particular needs in addition to making sure their over all well- being was in high spirits.

“My first night there, the Governor was on base hosting a cookout for everyone. We walked around and made a few friends. One woman got word that they had just found her 16 year old twins! They were flying them to Massachusetts to be with her last Friday. Another woman in her 70’s was here with her daughter and son. She requested a fan in her room. I’m thrilled to report that the fan was delivered the next day! As team captain, each night at the end of my shift, I fill out paperwork and return it to the Sheriff’s office. They go through all of the forms and deliver what ever the guests need. I felt really good about that.” Says Howard.


Lorna with Katrina victims on
Camp Edwards Oct/Nov 2005

Lorna's mother with Katrina victims on
Camp Edwards Oct/Nov 2005

“Another guest wanted us to know how
thankful he was to Mitt Romney. He wants
him to go to New Orleans and help get it
back on track.” When Lorna asked this
man if she could get him anything he
replied, “How could I even ask for anything?
You all have given us so much! The
people of Massachusetts are amazing!”
As she was getting ready to leave for the
night, Wanda asked one last time if there
was anything she could get the man and
he said, “Okay, I’ll take 6 cannoli’s!”
Wanda and her daughter delivered the
Italian pastry to him the next day!

“Our third night there, we met a man
named “BIG AL” he was cooking a bbQ
for everyone on base. We thanked him for
the meal and asked him if there was anything we could get him. He said, “I’d love some steamers, some crab and a big pot to cook them in with one of those propane hook ups.” (Incidentally, he requested lobster too, but that was tricky to have donated.) The next day we went and visited my friend from high school. His name is Mike Carver. He owns Mike Carver’s Seafood Market in Middleboro. He donated 10 pounds of steamers to us for Big Al’s clam boil.

 

 

 


Lorna with Katrina victims on
Camp Edwards Oct/Nov 2005

Our next stop was to DE SA’S FISH MARKET in Taunton on Harrison Avenue. Carlos De Sa donated two -dozen crabs and a 50-pound bag of potatoes!  Lorna and I picked up the pot, onions and some butter and my son in law Roger filled his propane tank. We iced everything down and brought it to the base! Big Al’s wife was so excited!”

Speaking of New England cuisine, one of the ladies on base was pretty taken with turkey stuffing! The café served turkey, stuffing and potatoes one night. She thought our stuffing was fantastic! She liked the clam chowder too!

On their way to the base, Judy McCabe from the Middleboro Rotary called. She had a truck- load of toys for the children on Camp Edwards. Wanda and her daughter were really eager to bring all of the toys. The parents were just as delighted as the children to see all of the bags of treats!

Miss Brunelle is the owner of the Burt Wood School of Performing Arts. She and her mother would love to put together a concert for the guests. Last week, they got the phone number of the person in charge of recreation on the base. They hope to take her students there to perform for the guests.

When leaving a solemn funeral for her grandfather, she saw a “volunteers needed” sign at Otis Air Force Base. Hurricane Katrina had just hit, and Brunelle and her mother, Wanda Howard, jumped on board the recovery efforts. “Out of every bad situation, there's always something good,” Brunelle said." Writer Alice Elwell, The Brockton Enterprise


Wanda said “The most fascinating and rewarding thing about working at Camp Edwards is how positive everyone is! They are so grateful to be alive and in Massachusetts. Their stories are heart wrenching, inspirational and courageous. They are survivors. It’s an honor to be a part of their time on the Cape. This is by far one of the best things I’ve ever been involved with. Each time we leave my daughter and I talk about what we can do the next time we visit.”


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