Monday, April 23, 2007

Cast of Guiding Light Helps Rebuild Biloxi

To celebrate the 70th anniversary of Guiding Light, the cast and crew decided to partner with Hands On Network, a volunteer organization, in an effort to bring the shows motto to life...a brotherhood of man.

They kicked off the effort with a week-long studio shutdown and flew the entire cast and crew to Biloxi, MS where they worked to rebuild Ethel Curry's home. The widly popular actors slept in bunkbeds at the Hands On volunteer center, served breakfast, and split into crews to bring Ms. Curry's home back to life.

As a culture, we tend to elevate television and movie stars to the level of Gods and forget that they are simply people, like us, who want to make a difference in the world and don't mind getting their hands dirty. This truth turned out to be a blessing for Ethel. She'd lived in a FEMA trailer since the disaster and had spent sixteen months searching for someone to help rebuild her home that was almost entirely flooded by Gulf waters during the storm.

Ethel survived Katrina by crawling into her open refrigerator while it floated near the ceiling. Ethel is quoted by Marketplace, "And I say, "Lord, please take it down, because if it come any higher, I can't swim. Well, I was through the rafters, holding my head up. Trying to keep it, you know, from getting in my mouth, because I couldn't stand it."

In late Jaunary of this year, Kim Zimmer, who playes Reva Shane on Guiding Light, and other cast members showed up in Ethel's driveway, ready to answer her pleas for help. Some of the cast members had never used power tools or even a screwdriver but volunteers from Hands On made sure no one got injured and the living room walls were plumb.

Ms. Curry's response, "It is really a gift. A great gift. Got a lot of smiles and a lot of things to smile for now."

This was the first in several volunteer project taking place this year within the partnership. Here is a list of the cities and the various Hands On Affiliates that Guiding Light’s cast members will be working with in the coming months. This is posted on

5-4 to 5-5-07
Pittsburgh, PA
Pittsburgh Cares

Los Angeles, CA
L.A. Works

New Orleans, LA
Hands On New Orleans

St. Louis, MO
St. Louis Cares

Nashville, TN
Hands On Nashville

New York City
New York Cares

Miami, FL
Hands On Miami

Baltimore, MD
Baltimore Volunteer Central

To find out how you can be part of this volunteer effort and the added benefit of possible face time with you favorite soap opera star visit and make a difference for someone like Ethel Curry.


CindyLV said...

Thank you for shining your light on an example of extreme generosity and charity. When I find myself tangled up in the daily stream of tragic news events, I feel lost and alone. Reading stories where people take the time to share with others helps me to recharge and remember why we're here. Also, I appreciate the gentle reminder that even though the tragedy of Katrina was almost 16 months ago, many people still need our help and support.

I drive past a billboard every day that reads: When you go home tonight, remember those in New Orleans who can't. We can't forget them.

Lisa McGlaun said...

Thanks so much for the comments! I started LifePrints because I needed something to revitalize me after the overload of depressing news on the Television. I needed to remember how wonderful people can be.

Thanks for reading!