Making a Home for Evacuees

9-7-05 – A Texoma family unable to give money to Katrina relief efforts went down to Dallas to volunteer last week, and came back home with nine people.

Mike and Dedrea Higginbotham of Luella, Texas, have opened their home to New Orleans evacuees who lost everything. The Riley and the Vickers families, including four young children, will stay with the Higginbotham family of five until they are able to rebuild their lives.

“Mom. She's just like our mom. She takes care of us, loves us, and Dad, he jokes with us. She basically gave us what we needed at this point in time,” say Anicia and Ashley Riley, about Dedrea Higginbotham.

“If we were in that situation we'd want someone to open their hearts and homes to us,” says Dedrea in reply.

The Higginbothams were helping unload the busses of evacuees at Reunion Arena on Friday, when Ashley Riley got off a bus and asked to borrow their cell phone. The families kept in touch throughout the day. That evening the Higginbothams brought them home to Luella, saying they felt it was their duty.

“The devastation on their faces, you know, I can't describe it. I can never imagine something like that happening,” says Dedrea.

Friends from Inspiration Point Cowboy Church in Van Alstyne are helping with donations of clothes and food. The Riley and Vickers families plan on settling in Dallas as soon as they can.