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Eddie Jordan - Local man helped those who faced suffering from Katrina

April 23, 2006|By DANIEL J. SERNOVITZ

WILLIAMSPORT - Like many people across the United States and the world, Eddie Jordan wanted to know how he could help Gulf Coast residents in the wake of Hurricane Katrina last August.

"I said: What can we do?" said Jordan, 50, owner of Jordan's Recycling in Williamsport.

Jordan said he, his fiance, his dog Stretch and two of his friends loaded up a rented truck with all of the goods they thought those who had just lost everything might need and, on Sept. 1, he started the 20-hour drive to McComb, Miss.

Jordan, who is a Quaker, has several family members living in or near McComb. He wanted to help them, but he said it was more than just the personal connection that set him into action.

Jordan said there have been times in his life when he had virtually nothing, and sympathizing with the plight of those he knew were in that same situation, he felt he had to help.

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"I didn't do it to feel good about myself," he said.

Jordan, his fiance and friends spent about a week in McComb, handing out all of the goods they had taken with them and, except for what was spent on gas and food, the $1,800 the four had put together for the trip.

On the way back, he said, another motorist gave him money for gas so he could make it back to Williamsport.

Jordan said the experience was both painful and rewarding, knowing he was helping to at least partially restore the lives of those with whom he came in contact. He recalled one man who broke down in tears of gratitude.

"Looking into the eyes of that person that had nothing and watching his eyes just fill up with tears ... I don't remember his name, but I remember his face," Jordan said." I can still see it."

Jordan credits his father for giving him the sense of selflessness that prompted him to want to help by giving of himself.

"He raised me the way I am," Jordan said. "We had nothing, but we have everything."

After he got home, he said, he put a sign out on his yard saying he was making another trip to the Gulf Coast and sought whatever supplies the community could donate. This time, taking his own truck, loaded with both the supplies he and his friends gathered as well as an abundance of other things dropped off by area residents, he made a second trip on Sept. 18.

He reached the Mississippi state line, where he heard displaced residents were staying at Percy Quinn State Park, also in McComb, and headed there to give out the supplies he had gathered. What was left he gave to displaced residents and to those in other areas of the Gulf Coast.

Q&A

Name - Eddie Jordan

Address - Williamsport

Date of birth - Sept. 4, 1955

Occupation - Owner, Jordan's Recycling

Most notable achievement - Helping the victims of (Hurricane) Katrina.

our proudest moment - Looking into the eyes of that person that had nothing and watching his eyes just fill up with tears.

Who is the person you most admire and why? - It is my dad. He raised me the way I am.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received? Who gave it to you? - His father said, "Eddie, don't worry about tomorrow, tomorrow will take care of itself. Just worry about today."

What is the next goal you would like to achieve?- To return to the Gulf Coast to help displaced residents rebuild at least two homes.

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