Longview Evacuees Embrace Littlest Evacuee - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

9/3/05-Longview

Longview Evacuees Embrace Littlest Evacuee

       In the midst of the tragedy and suffering, hurricane evacuees in Longview have something to smile about.

 It's all because of one little girl, who captured their hearts at the Maude Cobb Activity Center.

    "I didn't even know her name when I first came in; it was probably 30 minutes later when someone said oh that's Destiny. Shes just a precious jewel," said shelter volunteer Julie Morman.

       Her mother, brought her from New Orleans. And the mother was taken to a Longview hospital this morning because she's pregnant and severely dehydrated.

This leaves Destiny all by herself. But everyone from volunteers to other evacuees have taken it upon themselves to look after her.

     "It was hard to keep up with her, everybody just fell in love with her. She's so sweet, everybody just fell in love with her," said New Orleans evacuee Sammy Gabriel.

     Eager to smile and  show affection, her spirit has been infectious. She celebrated her 2nd birthday yesterday.  And people occupied with their own sorrows have found a special treasure in a child they never would have known, unless they had come here.

       "She's adopted me and I've adopted her. We've had lots of help people watching out over her. It gives them something to brighten their day, to see a child running and playing and finding good in a situation that's so terrible," said Morman.

    Destinys' mother is expected to be released form the hospital soon.

Bob Hallmark bhallmark@kltv.com, reporting

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