Archives- Katrina Response 2005

Posted on October 13, 2005

Morrell Foundation Opens First Project iCare Village
October 13, 2005

Waveland, MS, October 11, 2005: Within 72 hours after Hurricane Katrina struck, the international Utah-based, charitable Morrell Foundation’s iCare Quick Response Team visited the region and assessed how they could best serve the myriad victims of one of America’s worst natural disasters. As a result, Morrell Foundation President Merrill Osmond, of the famed Osmond Family, is proud to announce that the first iCare Village complex, to provide housing and relief following devastation from Katrina and Rita, will officially open, ahead of schedule, tomorrow Wednesday, October 12th in Buccaneer State Park in the town of Waveland in Hancock County, Mississippi.

“It will begin housing volunteer workers immediately, and later expand to offer temporary accommodations for 1,000 people, including the elderly and single parent families,” Merrill Osmond said. “Governor Haley Barbour will be on hand Wednesday to cut the ceremonial ribbon and officially launch the facility.

As envisioned by the Morrell Foundation Chairman of the Board Phillip Morrell, the guiding mission of Project iCare and its iCare Village concept is to provide a 24/7 network of ground level organizational and infrastructure field support in emergency situations. Working within the scope of governmental involvement, and with the cooperation of the private and non-profit sectors, iCare steps in when housing and other essential services are required following a disaster, domestically or abroad. In 2003-2004, iCare rebuilt more than a dozen schools in Iraq.

Built on land donated by the State of Mississippi, iCare’s inaugural village’s 10,000 square foot base unit came together remarkably fast, with the main structure erected in just three days. On top of providing accommodations for 300 volunteers and hundreds more evacuees, iCare’s grounds will also maintain a medical clinic and dining and laundry facilities. Overall, the Village will be a central base from which critical attention and a support network can be given to hurricane-displaced persons.

Morrell Foundation Chairman of the Board Phillip Morrell first viewed the ravaged area in early September with Mississippi’s First Lady Marsha Barbour, who recently paid a visit to workers at the iCare site. Morrell commented, “Her continuing support has been an inspiration. The FEMA plan needs thousands of volunteers but does not provide any housing for them. The Governor and Marsha understood this from the first day, and together we are building housing that will be here as long as it is needed.”

Morrell Foundation President Merrill Osmond, of the famed Osmond Family entertainment dynasty, is also a principle behind the Branson Cares Telethon, the 3-hour, Sept. 18 televised event featuring Osmond and over 40 stars in Branson, MO raising funds for Katrina relief. Now, the Morrell Foundation, and other charitable groups are transforming the telethon into a one-hour TV special—to be broadcast in markets nationwide around Thanksgiving—focusing on both the devastation and the positive, post-Katrina rebuilding process.

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