What is the Picture Project?
The Picture Project is the Erie community’s gift to the residents of the gulf coast and surrounding areas whose precious photos were lost in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In partnership with The Sun Herald, South Mississippi’s Newspaper located in Biloxi, pictures from a six-county area will be collected and brought back to Erie where volunteers will catalogue and scan them onto the internet, where Kodak will assist in the project by printing the pictures free of charge and supplying the prints to those who claim them.
Volunteer groups in Erie from local schools, churches, senior centers, retiree groups, etc. will work on the Katrina pictures until they are all posted. The Erie effort will serve as a blueprint for dealing with the loss of photos whenever a disaster strikes anywhere in the Country, be it a hurricane, tornado, flood, earthquake, etc.
J.H. Bennett Moving and Storage donated large cartons for photo collection and the use of a 12’ Go Mini storage container from their sister company. J.H. Bennett Moving and Storage also donated the transportation of the 12’ Go Mini container to and from the parking lot of The Sun Herald in Biloxi, Mississippi. The cartons were distributed to picture collection points in Wal-Mart stores across a six-county area where people who find pictures can leave them. These boxes were later taken to the storage container at The Sun Herald and for transportation back to Erie where the real work would begin.
Isn’t this low on the priority list when people need food, water and shelter?
Yes. However, these material items can be supplied, but once a moment in time has passed, unless it has been captured in a photo and that photo saved, the physical memory is gone. Salvaging these memories can have a profound positive effect on the mental health of many families who suffered from the Katrina disaster. Without this project, some families will lose their entire history in photos.