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“More than three months after Hurricane Katrina’s jagged front edge tore into Mississippi’s Gulf Coast like a runaway chainsaw, East Biloxi remains a shattered community of poor people living amid their ruins, facing an uncertain future.
Those who survived the mighty storm still talk about the roar of the wind, followed by a 30-foot-high wave that surged in from the Gulf of Mexico, only to crash head-on into a second wall of water rushing out of the Back Bay from behind.
They say that the two massive waves met with a force that turned this entire slender peninsula neighborhood inside out. It remains so today: piles of rubble, cracked trees, crushed houses, rusting cars, refrigerators, stoves and fishing boats, bits of plastic shredded into the bushes and trees.” By David Weir, Salon.com
Hands On USA is the US-based affiliate of Hands On Worldwide, a volunteer-staffed, non-profit organization with 501(c)3 tax-exempt status, dedicated to timely disaster response and relief.
Our Volunteer Center in Biloxi, MS currently provides the following services:
Community Outreach and Supply Distribution
Medical Clinic Support
Tree & Debris Removal
Home & Small Business Clean-Up
Temporary Roofing Installation
Animal Shelter Assistance and Placement
Community Center Recovery Projects
We are currently accepting volunteers, donations of goods and funds.
Darius Monsef is an entrepreneur and businessman with over five years of experience developing B-to-B & B-to-C online applications. Following the Asian Tsunami in 2004, he helped assist in the foundation of Hands On Thailand (HOT), and coordinated some of HOT’s relief efforts throughout affected areas along the Thai coast.
Darius has served as the Operations Director for Hands On USA’s (HOUSA) Hurricane Katrina relief activities since HOUSA initiated operations in the first days of September 2005. He facilitates the day-to-day operations of HOUSA and the efforts of 50-100 volunteers and regularly meets with local, state and federal relief officials. He can be reached at: 310-270-5783
Operations Director – Marc Young
Marc Young (aka ‘scuba’) was most recently working in the scuba diving industry. He has worked in Papau New Guinea, Philippines, Honduras, Thailand, India, and Viet Nam over the past 5 years. Marc, as a former small business owner of 12 years, used his expertise and people skills to manage resort dive shops and live-aboard dive boats.
When hurricane Katrina hit he was among the first volunteers to arrive in Biloxi. As the Hands On USA volunteer community grew Marc began to play a more integral role in the daily operations and we were happy to designate him as an additional operations director in December, 2005. He can be reached at 989-573-2626
Executive Director – David Campbell
David Campbell has been a technology executive, investment banker, and humanitarian field volunteer. He went to Thailand immediately after the tsunami, and became one of the founders of HandsOnThailand.org ,which brought over 200 volunteers and several hundred thousand dollars to assist the rebuilding of five Phuket fishing villages.
After hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast David joined with several other HandsOn volunteers to establish Hands On USA, and after one week on site the team had an operations center in Biloxi, MS, 50 volunteers committed and en route, and dozens of projects launched.
His 40 year business background includes positions as President of BBN Technologies of Cambridge, and of GTE Labs in Waltham, as well as CEO responsibilities at public companies Computer Task Group of Buffalo and Xpedior of Chicago. Mr Campbell is currently a Managing Director of Innovation Advisors, an investment banking firm, and serves on the Board of Directors of Tektronix, MRO Software, and Gibraltar Industries.