Citrus Heights, CA and Angel Flight Bring Christmas to Katrina Victims

t looks like Rudolph will be putting his bright nose — and his IFR rating — to good use Saturday, as Angel Flight Southeast will deliver gifts collected from across the country to the town of D’Iberville, MS — where thousands of people remain in tents and trailers due to the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina. More than 3,000 children will receive gifts delivered by Santa Claus and his helpers, who will be flying in on a special Angel Flight America mission flown by Angel Flight Southeast pilot Dan Calugar. We are so very happy to assist the folks of D’Iberville in ensuring that the thousands of now-underprivileged children get the holiday that they deserve,” said Sheri Hutchinson, Director of Operations of Angel Flight Southeast, one of six geographic regions in the Angel Flight America network. “Having Santa and his helpers fly in to assist with gift giving, we hope, will spur even more giving among people in the Southeast who might not be aware of this tragic story.”

Hutchinson told ANN the gifts have been collected and sent from thousands of miles away from businesses and citizens from Citrus Heights, CA as part of a daylong celebration of “the joy of holiday giving.” The gifts were driven across country by the Mayflower moving company.

Also assisting from the start of this special mission approximately three months ago is Liz Krohn of the Sunrise Marketplace, a special business district in Citrus Heights of more than 500 shops and companies that brought together most of the special holiday gift items. “We had a 2,000-foot Mayflower transport bring in 50 bikes and helmets, several thousand gift cards — everything from power tools to pet food — to help an area that we think has been somewhat neglected in the post-Katrina relief efforts,” Ms. Krohn said.

The Angel Flight Southeast flight delivering Santa and his helpers will originate from Asheville, NC. Additional volunteers from California, Indiana, North Carolina, Alabama and locally from organizations such as the local air force base and ROTC will assist in giving out the gifts.

The people of D’Iberville have truly been blessed by thousands of people who’ve assisted our somewhat neglected town, to ensure that this population of 8,000 people gets the attention that they deserve,” said Brenda Broussard, a D’Iberville town council woman who saw approximately 90 percent of her district destroyed by the hurricane.

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