1 of a Kind Jewelry Mall Commends Member On Hurricane Katrina Relief Efforts

Washington, NC (PRWEB) October 13, 2005

1 of a Kind Jewelry Mall is a shopping e-commerce offering handmade jewelry. All items are made solely by members from various locations. Mall executives are proud of their members and to classify them as true? 1 of a Kind? people. A member is Jeff Simkins of Lexington, Kentucky.

Simkins began his artistic adventure when he was a young age. He began by collecting and polishing rocks at the request of his grandmother’s wild? S to keep him busy. She told him he could turn stones into something beautiful. He lost touch with his art while in his teens, not revive until he married his wife Amber in 1990. He currently enjoys working with silver, stainless steel, and superalloys. With the use of high technology, it is capable of many ways to shape and form metal. He does however want to go back to basics by using hammers and other hand tools.

his art microelectronics and be an engineer, Jeff seems to keep a busy schedule. It s? Certainly not the kind of schedule that can be absent for a week, but not Jeff. He put his life on hold for the largest of the kind of man and his fellow American? S. Recently this artist journey through the Deep South to help in relief efforts for victims of Hurricane Katrina. He spent a week traveling from one area to go to things like water, food, clothing, and even pet food. Simkins was asked to recall its mandate. He wrote:

? This was the start of the third week after Hurricane Katrina. I’ve never been to Louisiana. I don? T know what to expect. I relied on other volunteer information, and they don? Does it either. A simple question like, he gas where we are going? could not answer until we got near Baton Rouge. We packed up trucks and trailers with provisions for the relief effort, and then our own supplies so that we can be self-sufficient.

conditions at our destination in Gonzales, Louisiana were better than I expected. The people of Gonzales welcomed us with a home-cooked meals and beds to sleep in. I stayed at the Hotel Hamilton, hosted by Liz Hamilton.


Our

relief coordinator was Pastor Dick Knapp of St. James Lutheran Church. Our job was to build and deliver pallets of food, water, clothing, cleaning supplies and toiletries. Zapp Chips donated 10,000 square feet of warehouse, a truck, forklift operators, and a loading dock.

We were a team of nine. We built 20 palettes Monday afternoon after a long drive from our night in Jackson, MS. On the second day, the team divided into three groups. I stayed with the team at the warehouse, while the other two groups continued reconnaissance missions to contact the churches that did not yet have telephone service.

It was hot in the warehouse! We soaked our shirts in sweat several times until you can clearly see the dried salt. Eugene and Mike never seemed to slow down at all. I later discovered that both are runners, have also entered in triathlons. We built about 20 pallets of more that day with the help of many volunteers. We ran low on food supplies, so we emptied a 48-foot trailer filled at random with boxes of clothing and food. Each working day was 7:00 to 7:00 p.m., with a delicious dinner waiting for us home cooks to the church. Jambalaya, Chicken Cordon Bleu, and Gumbo were on the menu at different evenings.

week we were there, we delivered more than 50 pallets of provisions to churches and relief centers in Baton Rouge, Gramercy, Kenner, Picayune, Waveland, Gulf Port, and Wiggins. As the word is out and the lines of communication have been restored, the workload has increased. Zapp? S provided a Penske truck with a hydraulic lift. We had enough truck bed to transport 12 pallets in one go. We also used our trailer to make local deliveries, and delivery in New Orleans with food for animals in the Humane Society, which was stationed there. The trip to New Orleans has to pass two checkpoints, the second we almost don? T make it through. The officer saw the pet food in the back, and said? Move? before the second officer caught. It was home to Lamar-Dixon who provided some of the feed and the necessary contacts.

We made our last delivery of Wiggins, Mississippi on Friday night. Three women came out nowhere and helped us unload the trailer. They don? T stay longer than necessary, jumped into their car and drove. They can carry more water than I could, and move much faster! This was the last day of our relief efforts before we headed home Friday evening, and driving all day Saturday. We were beaten. The intensity of active people, the incredulity of the storm? S destruction and heartache took its toll.


Thousands of people

put their lives on hold to assist in the calculation, after the tragedy. Jeff may have been only one person, but as a mall jewelry puts Kind? Each person can help do their part and Jeff done enough to more than one person. We are extremely proud of him and honor him in every way. He and the rest of our members really make this shopping center, one of a Kind.


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