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Catfish









There is more than one way to skin a cat (fish), and Pastor Leodis Strong knows just how to do it. The pastor’s church, the historic Brown Chapel A.M.E. in Selma, Alabama, was the recent site of intake casework for local residents whose homes suffered severe damage in the recent tornados that ravished the small town of Selma and surrounding areas.

At first, residents were slow to stream in to ask for help from the Red Cross, but Pastor Strong knew a way to bring them in.


Tuesday evening after work hours, parishioners streamed into the church for a feast of fried catfish, baked beans, potato salad, and white bread.

“It’s all about the church family,” said Pastor Strong. “And we appreciate the Red Cross being here to help.”


As the church members lined up for the hot catfish and baked beans, Red Cross Caseworker Barbara Monteilh (Dallas-Ft. Worth) worked the crowd.


“How is your family? Did you have damage from the storm?” If someone needed help, she took their names and phone numbers and told them how to apply.


“How did you stand smelling that delicious fish all day?”, someone asked Tom McKoen, a Caseworker from Burro Ville, Rhode Island.


“I did it for the Red Cross,” he said. “I did it for the Red Cross.” Then he chomped on another big bite of catfish.

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