The stories of Hurricane Katrina continue to remind us of what happened a year ago. Recovery efforts and rebuilding are ongoing in the gulf coast. Many from across the country continue to help those efforts, and Kentuckians are no different.
One Bowling Green man Greg Porter left a very comfortable life for an RV and a church under a tent, and he doesn’t know if he will ever return.
Porter’s New Home
The first thing you notice is Porter’s corvette.
“Hey, I am trying to help out the locals up there in Bowling Green,” Porter said. “I am being true to my state.”
And there are other signs of Porter’s allegiance to his home state – the Bowling Green businessman’s love for UK sports and his Kentucky Colonel certificate – all reminders of a home he left about a week after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast.
After watching news coverage of the disaster, Porter headed south to cook food for the hungry.
“I thought I was going to cook for a week and then another church was going to take over,” Porter said. “At the end of that week that other group didn’t show up. There was no one here to cook, so I knew I was going to continue.”
Cooking hamburgers on the beach eventually turned into managing a massive food center, housing hundreds of volunteers and holding nightly church services. A year later he’s still there.
“There are still people in tents. There are lots of people still in FEMA trailers,” Porter said. “I have been living in my RV now for 11 months, and I know how small it gets for one person much less a family in a small FEMA trailer.”
Porter credits hundred of churches that sponsor God’s Katrina Kitchen, and he doesn’t really know when he’ll permanently return to Kentucky.
“I’d never imagined that I would be here for this amount of time. It was never in my imagination that almost a year later now we would still be here.”
Porters said without church sponsorship, a lot from Kentucky churches, he and the volunteers would not be able to feed and help so many people on the Gulf Coast.