Oklahomans appear eager to help those displaced by Hurricane Katrina.

There were so many volunteers and supplies ready to help the anticipated arrivals at Falls Creek Baptist Conference Center that many were turned away this weekend.

The church camp in southern Oklahoma is expecting as many as 3,000 evacuees. Baptist churches spread the word Sunday and the Monday holiday gave volunteers time to gather up necessities and head to the camp near Turner Falls. Norman folks were gathering clothing, bedding and non-perishable food.

On Stubbeman Avenue, near Norman North High School, volunteers are filling a trailer at the Union Baptist Association. They're taking supplies to the Gulf Coast. Firefighters and OU athletes will be washing cars Sunday in the Big Lots parking lot on Main Street at 24th Avenue. Banks and Sooner Mall are collecting donations.

Across the state at Camp Gruber, about 1,500 evacuees began settling in for what could be months. About 900 of the new Oklahoma residents are school-age children and retired teachers have volunteered to help with their education.

Oklahoma agencies planned to help the evacuees get jobs, food stamps, Medicaid, Social Security and unemployment benefits, medical attention and mental health services.

The evacuation and possible re-settlement is a long-term proposition. The damage is similar to the aftermath of a tornado, only stretching for miles instead of blocks. Oklahomans have been on the receiving end of disasters, so offering to help is almost second nature.

This Week's Circulars