Friday, December 18, 2009

Merry Christmas From TEDRD!

We would like to wish everyone a wonderful holiday this Christmas. Many of our homeowners will also be able to enjoy their holidays in newly refinished homes thanks to your volunteer efforts.

We will be taking a break over the holidays in order for our diverse staff to spend time with their families around the country. We will resume work on Jan. 4th and continue through the rest of 2010 repairing homes in Galveston so that next Christmas, more families can enjoy the holidays.

We hope to see you again in the future. Volunteers are our greatest commodity.

We hope you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Internships Available for Spring

Job Description
Crew Chief Interns are compassionate, respectful, flexible, organized, responsible and committed to helping those in need of our assistance. They are responsible for supervising daily rebuild work with volunteers, making sure that necessary materials and tools are on site each day. Though building experience is a plus, construction skills training is provided, and more important is the ability to interact with and teach volunteers those skills. Not only will they need to be able to work with volunteers, but they will also need to work with and respect the homeowners we serve, acting as an intermediary between them and the volunteers and making sure their wishes are carried out.

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.

To apply
Send resume and cover letter including desired start date and length of service to We will contact you to complete an additional application form.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Hurricane Season Over

We hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends. It was great for our staff to take a much needed break.

The big news today however is that we have reached the end of another hurricane season. Thanks to El Nino, we had a very light storm season featuring only a couple threatening hurricanes.

But there is always next year to prepare for, in addition to all kinds of other catastrophes like floods, fires, and tornadoes. You should take this time to review or create your disaster plan for your home of workplace.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

We have a lot to be thankful for this year as things are turning around in Galveston. Thanks to volunteer efforts people are moving home and many have a home for Thanksgiving to host their families.

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

Home for the Holidays

On Christmas night, 2008, Mr. and Mrs. Stevenson walked from their FEMA trailer to their dismantled home in Galveston and set up their make-shift dinner table. The walls were bare around them, and the floor was dirty from the remnants of Hurricane Ike.Mr. Stevenson lit a candle and the family proceeded to pray for the better part of an hour. They didn’t know how they would ever fix the home they had lived in for much of their life together. They could only pray for help.

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 or 713.252.9693.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Mr. Stevenson Moves Home

After many months of living in a FEMA trailer, Mr. Stevenson moved back home this week. Hundreds of volunteers worked on his home, gutting and then repairing the structure.

There are still a few minor touches to do, but Mr. Stevenson and his wife were incredibly happy to be home. Below are a couple photos. More can be found on our facebook page.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Keep on Chugging

Last week Church of the Redeemer - Irving spend time with us in Galveston to repair homes. They also provided some of our staff with an incredible meal, for which we are extremely thankful. We are also thankful for Brendan O'Sullivan-Hale's efforts and willingness to spend the week here.

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!
Pictures below:

Church of the Redeemer - Irving with Eric

Church of the Redeemer Irving at Manor Way

Church of the Redeemer - Irving at Avenue M

Christ the King - Atascocita

Monday, November 2, 2009

Church of the Incarnation - Dallas Spends Halloween in Galveston

Happy Halloween From Murphy

Church of the Incarnation - Dallas came to Galveston for Halloween weekend. They worked along side local islander, Cory as well. In addition to repairing houses, the group of around 20 got to enjoy Halloween Galveston-style in addition to the Lonestar Motorcycle Rally that attracted tens of thousands of bikers.

It was a very interesting and productive weekend for the COTI Crew. Thanks to all of them for their time and efforts. Pictures below:

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Grinnell College Back for More

Students from Grinnell College came down from Iowa this week to help in the relief efforts. This is their second trip. Grinnell is Relief Coordinator, Maggie Immler's alma mater.

Additionally, former intern and current Grinnellian, Josie, came with them to put in some more time. We're happy to see her as well as all of her fellow students!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Helping Neighbors

Several Residents from Grace Episcopal - Galveston took time this week to help out their neighbors. Its great to see members of the community lend a helping hand.

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

Pirates Lend a Hand

Several college students from Southwestern University spent their 3-day weekend in Galveston to help in our rebuilding efforts.

Amidst midterms and papers, these students used their holiday to better the lives of those around them.

Thanks Southwestern!

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

St. Matt's - Austin Back for More!

St. Matthew's - Austin is back for their 3rd trip to help out Galveston homeowners. Crew leader Jim Fryer continues to bring groups of incredible individuals with caring hearts.

The crew of mostly retired folks is here for several days this week, and always ready to get their hands dirty. This time they even brought a trailer full of donations for hurricane survivors, including a pristine washer and dryer.

Thanks St. Matt's! You guys are amazing!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Gutting in Galveston

Thanks St. Mark's for your help this past Saturday. It was great to see some familiar faces and some new ones as well!

Mr. Stevenson's house is inching closer to completion and Ms. Cummings home is about ready to begin repairs thanks to your efforts.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

ERD Names Katie Mears New National Disaster Response Leader

Catherine (Katie) Mears has been named program manager for USA disaster preparedness and response for Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD).

"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."

The Diocese of Atlanta has been assisting churches such as Good Shepherd Episcopal in Austell, which opened its doors to people whose trailers were destroyed by floodwater.

"Since the first hours of the growing disaster, [ERD] has been on the phone and in constant touch with us," said the Rev. Canon Debra Shew, canon for community ministries in the Diocese of Atlanta. "Katie has been a constant partner, sharing practical ideas and information."

Originally from Iowa, Mears is relocating to New York from New Orleans, where she has been working with the Diocese of Louisiana's community rebuilding efforts. "Partnering with people left homeless by hurricanes Katrina and Rita, she directed a program that has trained thousands of Episcopal volunteers in basic building skills, gutted and rebuilt destroyed homes, and created an environment of pastoral care, respect and empowerment," according to an ERD release.

Mears also has supported the dioceses of Iowa and Texas in developing responses to recent disasters: the flooding of the Mississippi tributaries in spring 2008 and Hurricane Ike's destruction of Galveston in September 2008. Prior to her time in disaster response, she was a community organizer and journalist. Mears holds a bachelor's degree in history from Grinnell College in Iowa. In 2008, Grinnell College honored Mears with the Pioneer Award "for her efforts to help rebuild a city and for her ability to encourage others to do the same."

"We have approved our strategic plan through 2012 with a high priority on domestic disaster response and preparedness," said ERD President Rob Radtke. "Katie's hiring is a major step toward our goal of helping U.S. dioceses prepare their congregations and communities to effectively respond to and recover from disasters."

ERD's domestic disaster relief efforts may be supported online here or by calling 1-800-334-7626, ext. 5129. Gifts can be mailed to Episcopal Relief & Development, PO Box 7058, Merrifield, VA 22116-7058.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Palmer And Trinity Pitch In!

Saturday, groups from Palmer Episcopal - Houston and Trinity Episcopal - The Woodlands lended a hand in the relief efforts in Galveston.

Most of the group members were making repeat trips, which we are so thankful for. But some were newcomers who we know gained a lot of insight into the plight of homeowners in Galveston. One volunteer tagging along with Trinity was from as far away as Newfoundland, Canada.

Below are some photos:

The Palmer Group at Mr. Stevenson's House

A note dated March 28, 1901 that the Palmer group found on the walls of one of the homes. This note was scribbled down when Galvestonians were rebuilding from the deadly 1900 Hurricane. Amazing circle of events.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Galveston Daily News Profiles TEDRD

From the Galveston County Daily News:

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

Precious Treasure

On September 13, 2008, a retired nurse named Precious Treasure Bacheller fell victim to the ravages of Hurricane Ike. Several feet of water destroyed most everything she owned.

“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.”

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Volunteer Celebration in Galveston!

The United Way of Galveston is hosting a luncheon to celebrate the efforts of volunteers in Galveston today, and our own Maggie Immler will be on hand to talk about how volunteers have impacted the lives of our homeowners.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Ike Anniversary Coming Up!

September 13, 2009 marks the 1-year anniversary of Hurricane Ike. St. John's - La Porte will be holding a celebration at their church following the 10:30 a.m. service. Everyone is invited! We will be celebrating the great work and recovery that we have made in La Porte as we are on the verge of finishing up our projects there.

Also, check out our new Facebook fan page at Become a fan to keep up with photos and stories!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

ALERT Working

The Air Land Emergency Resource Team is currently working away at our house on Manor Way. We're excited to have them back again.

Please pass along our information to anyone you think would be interested in helping in Galveston. We've helped more than 125 homeowners, but there are still hundreds of homes in the area that need assistance, and we can't do it without you.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Finishing Up the Summer

We have another ALERT team back with us this week, and we're happy to have them back! I can't believe it is already August 26th. Our summer has flown by so quickly, and we have some much to show for it.

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

TEDRD Takes a Break

Josie, Omar, Andy, and Chris have all finished their internships and the rest of Texas Episcopal Disaster Relief and Development is taking a much needed break as the summer comes to a close.

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

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Ms. Sallie turns 100 and moves home!

Today we celebrated Ms. Sallie's 100th birthday. Her home was the first rebuild that we started. She had hired a contractor who took her money and left town. But we came in to clean up his mess, and after tons of sweat from volunteers around the country, Ms. Sallie is back in her home to celebrate a century of life.

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

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Thanks ALERT!

The Air Land Emergency Resource Team left this morning, but we hope to have them back soon. They were probably our most skilled and most productive group we have had! Not to mention how well mannered and clean this group of young men was.
We had a hard time even keeping up with them as they moved three projects to edge of completion.
Thanks ALERT, come back soon!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

William Temple Center Gets New Floor!

The William Temple Episcopal Center finally has a new floor. After work from several groups to tear up the old carpet, sand the floors, and lay down the new laminate (in addition to repairing the support beams under the building), WTEC has a beautiful new floor.
Thanks to everyone who helped and donated to this cause. WTEC now has a much needed face lift to start the new school year.
To check out more photos of WTEC go to

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Here to Help

Just a couple days ago, an elderly woman named Ms. Viola walked into our office looking for help. She has been living in her flood damaged home since the storm without any money or any idea of how to fix her home.

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


Today, ALERT started working on rebuilding homes in Galveston. ALERT stands for Air Land Emergency Resource Team. A group of 20 strapping young lads came down from Longview, Tx after some intensive disaster response boot camp. We're very excited to have them here for more than a week!

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

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Keep on Keepin' on

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 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

New Crews

This week we have one group from the San Francisco Bay Area, and we also have a group from Luke's hometown of Hewitt, Tx (outside of Waco). First Baptist Hewitt made the short trek to help rebuild homes as well!

We're still looking for volunteers at the end of August and into the Fall. Contact Luke Blount at if you or someone you know is interested. Thanks!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Murphy and Baby

So Holly Rankin Zaher, one of the leaders from Nashville brought her 7 month old son Basil with her. Today, 6 month old Murphy and Basil became friends. See evidence below.

Basil and Murphy

About to get a kiss


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Working Hard

St. Columba's - Washington D.C. and our two churches from Nashville, Tn have been working hard all week.

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


Monday, July 20, 2009

Tennessee and D.C.

Happy 40th anniversary of landing on the moon!

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 or tell them to contact Luke Blount at or by phone ar 713.252.9693.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

St. Aug's Makes Dinner

Tuesday night, several folks from St. Augustine's in Galveston cooked a superb dinner for our volunteers in a gesture of thanks to St. Luke's - Denison and Emmanuel - San Angelo.

I know the staff loved the meal as did the volunteers. Many were interested to hear the stories of island residents who were here during the storm, and there was great fellowship over dinner.

Thanks, St. Aug's!

The Wonderful St. Aug's Crew

Our Great (and very full) Volunteers from St. Luke's and Emmanuel.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Living the High Life

Since the first day construction intern Omar arrived, he has been poked fun at because of his glasses. In the beginning, they were taped up and scratched. Then he had to super glue them together. And finally, one of the arms of the glasses broke off, leaving him with 2/3 of what used to be decent glasses.

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!

Great Work!

TEDRD would like to offer thanks to Good Sheperd - Dallas, Christ Episcopal - Nacodoches, and St. Christopher's - League City. What great work you guys did for us!

Below you will find some of the photos from their trips. More can be found at

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

"Window Faith"

Today, Maggie and I met with a new homeowner, Ms. Johnson, who was looking for help with her electrical work and plumbing. The rest of her home was close to finished. Her contractor was a neighbor that grew up in her neighborhood and genuinely cared about the work he was doing for her. He searched scraps and surpluses to find beautiful tile and cabinetry to put in her home.

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

St. Christopher's - League City

St. Chris's crew is currently working diligently to try to finish up the homes of Ms. Sally and Mr. Keyes. What a wonderful group of volunteers to work with!

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

Monday, July 6, 2009

St. Christopher's Back Again

St. Christopher's - League City has started yet another trip to Galveston. As one of our most frequent groups, we are excited to see them here again. Hopefully they will be able to put the finishing touches two or three homes this week!

Additionally, we would like to say thank you to the Youth Groups from Houston and Austin! Here's a few photos from their trip last week. For more, visit

Working at Mr. Stevenson's

Flooring at Mr. Smith's

Sanding at Stephanie's

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