I'm sitting here alone in the empty office, all packed up and ready to ship out, thinking back on all of the good work and good times we here at TEDRD have had since 2008. I find myself overwhelmed by all of you, the incredible people who made it all possible. Without your early and overwhelming response to Hurricane Ike, this program would never have made it off the ground, and you have supported us ever since.
In the last 2 years, 5 months and 10 days we have had more than 2800 people travel from within Texas and beyond to volunteer with us. You are Episcopalian and Lutherans and Catholics and Atheists, experienced carpenters and people who have never picked up a paint brush, young and young at heart, but you all were always ready to put everything you had into the task at hand. Because of you, we have been able to do repairs to 60 homes and muck out more than 125 others. You, the volunteers and donors, made it possible for us to more than double the over $1 million in donations and grants we have received. That is an incredible feat, and one that I am so proud of.
There is so much to be thankful for, not the least of which is two very quiet hurricane seasons since 2008. But that doesn't mean the work here is over. Even as we finish this ministry in Galveston, churches within the Diocese of Texas are taking the next steps in preparing themselves for the next emergency, whether it is a hurricane or something else, and I would encourage all of you to do the same. Episcopal Relief and Development is hard at work creating resources and educating Diocese in disaster preparedness and response. I highly encourage you to look at their website, http://www.er-d.org/USDisasterProgram/, and sign up for their "Ready to Serve" database (http://www.er-d.org/
This database gives Episcopal Relief and Development permission to contact you in the future about volunteer opportunities of all kinds as well as gets you on their newsletter list, and I hope every last one of you signs up.
There aren't the words to adequately thank all of you for your prayers, love and support throughout this mission, just know that we could never have done any of it without you. Please look us up on Facebook and keep in touch!