Monday, January 25, 2010

Friendly Reminder

After nearly a year of working as the Volunteer Coordinator for TEDRD, my perspective on life has changed in many ways. But today I was reminded of the reality of the work we are doing.

Sometimes I think we get caught up in the routines of work. After all, this is our job. We are
always trying to do better, help more people, prepare the surrounding community for disasters.

We are constantly working our little behinds off trying to do better. But sometimes I think we forget why. Its not to just be better or streamline our processes. Its to help those who are less fortunate.

We hear new stories of terrible situations every day, and those stories have become an odd sort of normalcy for Galveston. Nothing really shocks us anymore.

Today, I was reminded of how abnormal most of this is, and how most people can so easily ignore the tragedy that exists all around us. And I was reminded how happy it makes me to be doing this job and how proud I am of our organization.

With the help of our incredible volunteers and donors, we have created a superb rebuild organization in addition to helping establish a national emergency response focus and preparedness strategies. Hundreds of people have been helped by our work, and thousands of others have been able to experience the joy of helping others.

Every once in while we get reminded of our impact like I did today, and I think thats what keeps us going.

-Luke Blount

Friday, January 22, 2010

Still Plenty of Work

Our wonderful Relief Coordinator, Maggie, is picking up a couple new sites for us to work on today. One of them is a neighbor of a home we previously worked on. Its still so heart-wrenching to think of the despair that many Galvestonians have been in.

These people worked their entire lives to secure a livable home for themselves, and it just a few hours, it was all wiped away by wind and water. Most of our homeowners prefer to be self sufficient, and it kills them to ask for help. They pride themselves on their ability to scrape by and provide for themselves and their family. But after this storm, it was too much for them to overcome. Many of them have disabilities, many are elderly, and many are on a fixed income.

Its a shame that they have been living in substandard conditions, and that many of them have lost whatever independence they once retained. We wish we could do more, but we're proud of the work our incredible volunteers and donors have contributed.

Thanks for all of your support!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Working Along

This week, we had Presbyterians from the Chicago area and Mennonites from Kentucky working on a couple homes. Elmhurst Prebyterian was a repeat group from last January and left yesterday afternoon after contributing great work.

Thanks Elmurst! You guys did a wonderful job. We hope to see you again in the future.

Photos below:

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Ms. Sharon's House Under Way

We started a new home this week. Ms. Sharon's house currently has about a dozen workers starting the rebuild process.

Volunteers from Grinnell College and Holy Comforter Episcopal in Maryland have teamed up to get the first stages of rebuild under way. They've all been wonderful volunteers and are excited to be making a difference in someone's life.

Today, Ms. Sharon's new porch is getting installed and sheet rock is being installed in several rooms. The volunteers are moving steadily along.

Pictures Below (More can be found on our Facebook page):

Monday, January 11, 2010

F&M works through the weekend, more in town this week

Franklin and Marshall College worked this weekend on a couple homes, hanging sheet rock and laying floors in addition to some painting.

Ms. Marsha's house is looking incredibly different after just a few days of hard work. What a great group of workers we have!

This week we have 2 more groups in addition to F&M. Holy Comforter Episcopal Church of Baltimore, Maryland arrived yesterday to help out, and Grinnell College (Maggie's alma mater) came down for their third trip to Galveston. Thanks everyone!
Below are some photos from Franklin & Marshall:

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

2010 Looking Good

Our Presbyterian friends from Webster and Grapevine have done a wonderful job this week. They've painted, laid floors, created a closet, installed insulation and even started with Sheet Rock Prep.

Its been a wonderful way to start off the new year. Thanks to everyone in those groups. You have been a marvelous crew!

We look forward to seeing a few of you again this summer.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Back to Work

We're back from our holiday break, and back to work on homes in Galveston. A group of Presbyterian college students from around Texas are here for the next few days.

The next few months looks pretty busy. We're excited to get some major work accomplished.

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