Friday, December 18, 2009
Friday, December 11, 2009
Length and start date for internship is flexible, with a minimum of 2 months starting no earlier than January 1, 2010.
Salary and Benefits
Housing plus a flexible stipend, and worker's compensation insurance.
Must be 18 years or older, able to commit to at least 2 months of service, and preferably have personal transportation while in Galveston.
Send resume and cover letter including desired start date and length of service to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will contact you to complete an additional application form.
Monday, November 30, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
TEDRD will be closing down for the rest of the week.
Thanks to everyone who continues to help out and we wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving!
Monday, November 16, 2009
A few weeks later, a volunteer caseworker with Texas Episcopal Disaster Relief and Development, Kathy Hill, found the Stevensons and offered assistance. Soon after, their home was gutted by volunteers, and a few months later in June, volunteers began repairs on the home.
Mr. Stevenson’s home is located just a few blocks from Offatts Bayou, and as the water rose, it flooded his home to just beneath his ceiling during Hurricane Ike’s tremendous storm surge. His entire home needed to be repaired.
Over the course of the summer, youth groups, college students, local workers, and volunteers from as far away as San Francisco worked on Mr. Stevenson’s home. Every Monday, Mr. Stevenson would greet the volunteers and thank them.
A very large man, Mr. Stevenson is an imposing presence. At the time, he sported a long gray beard and even longer gray hair pulled back into a pony-tail. Usually sweaty from his own repair work on his home and fixing old motors that fill his backyard, Mr. Stevenson looked like man that few would like to cross paths with. But in truth, Mr. Stevenson is a gentle man who has been sober for over 25 years. He walks with a cane and grows his hair out every year to donate to Locks of Love.
One Monday in July, I was visiting with the most recent volunteers, a youth group from Waco, and Mr. Stevenson began telling us about the storm and his home. He said he came back after the storm to see all of his possessions destroyed, and only the shell of a home. He told us the story of his Christmas prayers, and how desperate he was for anyone to help him piece his life back together.
Then he looked directly at those high-schoolers and said, “You are God-sends.” He paused as tears welled up in his eyes and repeated as his voice choked up, “You are God-sends.” His gruff exterior melted into the graciousness of a survivor of tragedy. Without another word, Mr. Stevenson turned around walked slowly back to his FEMA trailer.
The youth group was left in a state of profound silence. It was obvious how important and meaningful this work was. They realized, as I did, that lives were being changed, and perhaps saved through the simple sacrifice of time and a little hard labor.
Throughout the summer, Mr. Stevenson told his stories to every group and came to the brink of tears almost every time. He put a face to devastation that occurred across the Texas coast, and he forced everyone to realize that the pain and troubles don’t stop when the flood waters recede. The desperation continues until help is found, until survivors find their God-sends.
Mr. Stevenson’s home is now complete, and this Christmas he will celebrate the holidays in a newly repaired and refurbished home. He will say prayers of joy and thanks and look forward to a new chapter in his life.
Texas Episcopal Disaster Relief and Development has helped more than 130 people and families like Mr. Stevenson, and will continue to do so throughout the next year. If you would like to schedule a trip to Galveston to help repair and rebuild homes, contact Luke Blount, Volunteer Coordinator at email@example.com or 713.252.9693.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Monday, November 9, 2009
This weekend, we also had Christ the King - Atascocita helping out in Galveston in addition to Christ Church Cathedral - Houston, and Trinity - The Woodlands helping out in La Porte. So much work was done, and there was spectacular fellowship.
Thanks to everyone for your help!
Christ the King - Atascocita
Monday, November 2, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
They also spent some time in La Porte trying to finish up the work there. Hopefully I'll be posting some pictures soon of their work. Thanks, Grace for everything!
Monday, October 12, 2009
Several students helped put up a tent for St. Augustine's church before heading over to one of our repair projects.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
"We're delighted to have Katie Mears on board," said Abagail Nelson, ERD's senior vice president for programs. "Katie has been working with the Diocese of Louisiana, our program partner in post-Katrina community rehabilitation. On her first day in the office, she jumped right in to support the Diocese of Atlanta through last week's flooding in the Southeast."
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
Some volunteers, students from a military-style boot camp for first responders, sang “Amazing Grace” as they welcomed a home-owner back into the repaired house.Another group was greeted regularly with hugs by the homeowner.
“He’d come out, first thing, and he hugged everyone, and nine times out of 10, he’d burst into tears,” Maggie Immler, Galveston relief coordinator for Texas Episcopal Disaster Relief and Development, said. “He called us all his angels.”
Immler has a slew of such stories. She started work in Galveston last fall, fresh from coordinating Hurricane Katrina relief projects. In Galveston, she found similar hurricane damage but a stronger groundswell of support and old-fashioned grit.
“My background is working in New Orleans, where everything took four times longer than it should,” she said, speaking by cell phone as she traveled to Houston for a diocese meeting.“I haven’t seen the level and depths of hopelessness that we saw in New Orleans. So when I sit back and look objectively at recovery in Galveston, the county and surrounding areas, everything is happening remarkably fast and in a remarkably organized way. That’s so exciting to me because there’s nothing we can’t do when we all work together.”
Episcopal Disaster Relief, part of the long-term recovery collaboration called Galveston County Restore and Rebuild, is headquartered at the William Temple Episcopal Center, 427 Market St., in Galveston.Some 1,500 volunteers from across the country have been processed and trained there, then placed in crews. About 23,000 hours of volunteer labor have been tallied thus far.
The Rev. Kyle Stillings, executive director at the William Temple Episcopal Center, has had a front-row seat on the flood of ministry to Galveston.
“I love the opportunity to listen to the stories volunteers share after a hard day of work, to hear how their lives are being shaped and transformed by the experience of service work,” Stillings said. “It’s a blessing to be surrounded by joyful and spirit-filled people willing to give so much of themselves for the sake of others.”
Similar stories have been reported time and again within the collaboration of faith-based organizations and nonprofit agencies making up Galveston County Restore and Rebuild. Their roundup and dispersal of volunteers and building crews across the island probably will continue through next summer, as long as residents need help.
“In the grand scheme of things, Galveston is tiny compared to what we experienced in New Orleans, but it’s happening so quickly here and with so much organizational power,” Immler said.At age 23, she is already a veteran of hurricane relief work.“As off guard as everyone was caught, it’s just been amazing to see everybody say, ‘We’ve got to keep pressing on,’” she said.
“They say, ‘It’s happened, but it’s not going to dominate our lives,’ and that’s been incredibly hopeful to me.“I feel like I’m working with Galvestonians not for Galvestonians, and that’s been a real cool thing.”
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
“I didn’t know what a storm surge was,” said Bacheller. “But it came in from every direction.”
During the storm, Bacheller stayed in her Shore Acres home as she watched the water rise to her ankles, then her knees, and finally just above her waist.
Several months later, Bacheller had settled into her FEMA trailer on her property, but didn’t know how she would be able to repair her home until she encountered Rev. Mike Besson of St. John’s – La Porte.
“I walked into his freshly painted purple office, and I thought ‘this is different,” she said. “But then Father Mike started saying things that I felt. It’s hard to describe, but I felt like I was home.”
Bacheller said from that day on, she knew that she wanted to be a part of the church and mission of St. John’s.
“I just wanted to be a part of the community,” she said. “I told Father Mike that I would take all the help I could get, but if they couldn’t help me I wanted to volunteer.”
Bacheller spent much of her life caring for others as a hospice nurse. An incredibly caring heart led her to request AIDS patients when everyone else was afraid to do so. Outside of her FEMA trailer, more than a dozen cats gather for food as she can’t stand to let one go hungry. Every day for much of her life, she prayed and cared for the needy, but after Ike, she was the one in need.
Texas Episcopal Disaster Relief and Development was there to step in and support the repair of her home through volunteer labor and donations for materials. And in April St. John’s began working with TEDRD to repair damaged homes in the La Porte and Shore Acres communities in an effort they dubbed “Mission on the Bay.”
Construction Foreman, Sam Glass, led the relief work with the help of more than 100 volunteers from St. John’s alone. Over the summer, youth groups from around the country and weekend crews from Houston helped repair more than 40 homes, including Bacheller’s.
“I’ve been so blessed seeing the young adults work together and be so selfless,” she said. “I have sheets of paper with everyone’s name and email addresses so that I can thank and update them.”
Groups of volunteers left notes of encouragement all around her house as they steadily made repairs. One youth group of volunteers wrote “We love you Precious” on a piece of sheet rock and presented it to her. She plans on framing all of her keepsakes when she gets a chance.
“When they would leave, I would read all of it and cry,” she said. “But I think it was a good cry.”
Despite the fact that her home and belongings were destroyed and vandalized, Bacheller says all of it has changed her life for the better.
“Material stuff doesn’t really matter to me anymore,” she said. “My values have changed. You realize what is really important.”
As repairs on her home began, Bacheller started to attend services at St. John’s, and then she started confirmation classes. Just a few days before the anniversary of Hurricane Ike, Bacheller was officially confirmed in the church.
“My experience has been a wonderful one,” she said. “Sometimes I’m in awe. I’m so very proud to be a part of the church and say this is my family.”
Through the efforts of TEDRD and St. John’s, countless individuals have been touched by the caring hearts of volunteers and the enduring spirit of the La Porte and Shore Acres communities.
“Precious has been a true light to our church and her testimony of survival has inspired us all,” said Besson. “She truly is a "precious treasure" here; one of the good things that happened to us after Ike.”
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Also, check out our new Facebook fan page at http://tinyurl.com/mr2xfp. Become a fan to keep up with photos and stories!
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
In the next few weeks we are going to try to finish up work in La Porte, Tx. If you can help or know someone who can, especially on Saturdays, please let us know!
Thanks for all you do
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
However, we're still looking to schedule groups in September and beyond. Let Luke know if you can make a trip to help rebuild homes.
713.252.9693 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Thank you to everyone who was involved, Ms. Sally could not stop saying "Thank you" for the few minutes we spent with her, and I know her family is very grateful for your efforts as well.
Below are the final shots of her home. If you would like to see more photos, visit www.flickr.com/photos/ikerelief.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Her husband has cancer, and her two children are both in cramped temporary housing on the island with her grandchildren. She has been in touch with a couple organizations before she came to TEDRD, but the process is slow and requires lots of paperwork.
Walking with a limp and complaining of hip pain, Ms. Viola has tired eyes. More than 10 months after Hurricane Ike, her life is stilll spinning with the chaos of the storm.
Ms. Viola tells us that another one of our homeowners referred her to us. Maggie takes down her information, schedules an appointment to view her home, and we begin to work on her case.
But as she hobbles out of our office, I can't help but wonder how many more people like her are waiting for help.
Who else is still breathing in the mold every day and night? Who else had worked their entire lives to own a home, only to have it wiped away at a time when they can no longer work? Who else is walking around with those tired, tear-filled eyes? Who else needs help?
We're certain that Ms. Viola will see her home repaired soon, but its the forgotten people out there that keep us going.
Its easy for us to enjoy the beach life on an island sometimes, but its when you look into the eyes of someone so helpless that you realize we don't exist independently of each other in this world. It takes a helping hand and the sacrifice of a few hours of your life to change someone else's in a profound way.
And that's why we're here to help.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Hopefully we will be able to keep up with these young men and have plenty of work for them to do. Thanks ALERT! We're looking forward to your work.
If you would like to learn more about ALERT, check out http://www.alertacademy.com/.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
The God Squad from California and First Baptist- Hewitt are putting in some great work this week as several homes get some much needed attention.
So much love and care has been put into the work this week, and the homeowners are so grateful. On Monday, one of our homeowners, Mr. Stevenson, broke down in tears thanking FBC-Hewitt for just showing up. Just a few hours can really help change peoples' lives. Both the volunteers and homeowners come away better people.
If you know anyone who would like to help out in rebuilding homes this Fall, please send Luke Blount an email at email@example.com or call at 713.252.9693. We are so thankful for your help, and we couldn't do anything without volunteer support.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
The Nashville groups took the afternoon off today to visit NASA! A couple people on staff were tempted to tag along, but there is still a ton of work to do.
If you guys know anyone who could help out with volunteering from August on, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, July 20, 2009
Today St. George's and Good Shepherd of Nashville, Tn and St. Columba's of Washington D.C. started working. The Tennesse groups went to Mr. Stevenson's home to work on some floors while D.C. helped at the William Temple Center with some staining and worked at Mr. Smith's doing some flooring.
21 people in all this week from far away locations, and we're happy to have them here!
If you know anyone looking to do some volunteer work at the end of this summer or into the Fall, direct them to our website at www.epicenter.org/ikerelief or tell them to contact Luke Blount at email@example.com or by phone ar 713.252.9693.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
But last week, the good folks at St. Christopher's - League City took up a collection to get Omar a new eye exam and a good pair of glasses. Omar was so excited not only because he didn't have to hear the jokes and answer the questions, but because he would be able to see!
To top it off, Jim Hammond and Charles Scott of St. Chris took the entire TEDRD staff out sailing on Sunday! Thanks St. Chris!
Jim and Captain Omar in his new glasses!
Below you will find some of the photos from their trips. More can be found at www.flickr.com/photos/ikerelief.
Lisa from St. Chris working away at Mr. Keyes's
Nacodoches painting at Stephanie's
John from Good Shepherd at Stephanies, too.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
As Ms. Johnson tells us about how lucky she is to have him, she almost bursts into tears. She then tells us that her son is in the military and he and his military buddies raised money to purchase a stove and television for her. Again, Ms. Johnson can hardly tell us the story without breaking into tears.
Ms. Johnson tells us story after story about how her faith in God has brought her through these tough times and how He has provided for her. She tells us September 11 now has a completely different meaning for her as that is the date she evacuated the island and left her possesions to the ravages of Hurricane Ike.
"My car was Iked," she said. As soon as she said this, I new I would also use Ike as a verb for the rest of my life. Much friendlier than other 4-letter words, but perhaps with a much harsher meaning. However, again, Ms. Johnson was able to get a car from her youngest son that was completely paid off.
"God has opened up windows, for me," Ms. Johnson said. "Some people like to say that God opens up doors, but I've got a lot more windows than doors, and God has opened them up."
Ms. Johnson is living in Texas City with a friend, but in the past few months she says windows keep opening in her life to shine the light. Episcopal Disaster Relief hopes to open one last window for Ms. Johnson by providing the funds for electrical and plumbing work.
"Some people have door faith," she says "but I have my window faith, and I'm happy with that."
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Tonight, we have a youth group from Good Shepherd in Dallas that will work through the weekend. And tomorrow, a group from Nacodoches will arrive.
We're steadily pushing along, but we need help this fall. If you or someone you know can come down for a few days at the end of August and on into Fall, please get in contact with Luke Blount at 713.252.9693 or firstname.lastname@example.org.