Leader Blues

Saturday, September 02, 2006

TOP STORY>>Honor delights Sherwood woman

IN SHORT: Joy Cameron gets a big thank you from George Bush for feeding Katrina victims.

By ANNIE BERGMAN
Associated Press Writer

“It’s an honor,” said Joy Cameron of Sherwood after receiving a public-service award from President Bush at Little Rock National Airport on Wednesday.

She had organized thousands of meals for Hurricane Katrina refugees who came to the area. Cameron, 48, said meeting the president was an experience she will never forget.

Bush greeted Cameron outside Air Force One before appearing at a fundraiser for Republican gubernatorial candidate Asa Hutchinson. Bush talked with Cameron briefly and presented her with a lapel pin bearing the presidential seal and the words “The Presidential Call to Service Award.”
Cameron helped prepare and serve the meals in banquet space at Patrick Henry Hays Senior Center in North Little Rock.
The woman said her idea for the meal program came the Sunday before the hurricane hit the Gulf Coast.

She said she told her pastor that she would like to do something to help the people if the need arose.

Cameron said she never imagined she would end up organizing a meal program that fed refugees more than 9,000 meals in 31 days. “It was just a small idea that turned into a great big program,” Cameron said. More than 40 churches and other organizations volunteered time and personnel to help with the meal program.

Cameron said Bush thanked her for her work and then spoke about spending time in New Orleans on Tuesday, the one-year anniversary of the storm striking the city. Cameron said she would be sharing the award with all the volunteers and still thinks often about the refugees she helped.