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.