Picayune City Council approves effort to raise money to help Amish

Published 6:13 pm Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Picayune City Council approved establishing a bank account in which to collect donations to provide assistance to the families of the Amish children shot in their school on Monday, Oct. 2.

The council also approved a “boot drive” with volunteers from all city departments in support of the fund-raising effort.

Picayune Memorial High School senior Kasey Mitchell appeared before the council seeking its support for her senior project, which is to raise money to go to the Amish families through a relief fund established at a bank in Paradise, Penn., which is next door to the community of Nickel Mines where the attack at the small Amish single-room school house occured. Mitchell was accompanied by her senior project mentor, Dawn Bechtel.

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Mitchell, in her address to the council, reminded its members that the Amish from that area of Pennsylvania came to Picayune and Pearl River County following Hurricane Katrina to help with repairing roofs and homes of the elderly and the indigent and churches. She said she is calling the project the “Philippians Project” after a passage in the Bible.

“We’re proud of what you’re doing. They gave to us,” Councilman Jerry Bounds told Kasey Mitchell.

Mitchell brought with her a letter she needed Mayor Greg Mitchell to sign to take to businesses from which she hoped to raise money for the relief fund.

The council quickly approved establishing the account at BankPlus on Memorial Boulevard. The account will be known both as the Nickel Mines Children’s Fund and the Lancaster County, PA, Relief Fund.

Mitchell told the council her project will run through the Picayune Street Fair on Saturday, Nov. 4 and Sunday, Nov. 5.

She asked for the council’s additional support for a boot drive to be conducted by volunteers from all city departments to raise money for the project. The boot drive will take place 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Friday.

Kasey Mitchell also agreed to a proposal by Mayor Mitchell and Bounds to raise money for the project at the football game when Poplarville visit Picayune on Friday, Oct. 20.

At the game, Kasey Mitchell and some other students will pass helmets through the stands to collect money for the relief efforts.

Bounds said the football team had conducted a similar fund raising effort last year at the Pass Christian game to raise money for the Pass Christian schools which were devastated by the hurricane. He said the effort was successful and the school was grateful for the effort.

Councilman Donald Parker also passed his hat at the council meeting, collecting donations from the mayor and council members for the children’s fund.