Monday, February 25, 2008

Update from Gassville

Ryan and Tyler, two of the BonaReponds' volunteers who are spending spring break in Gassville Arkansas helping the area recover, sent the following update on their work there. It is two days worth:
It was cold, foggy and 3:30 a.m. on Saturday. The bus filled with over 70 Bonaventure student-volunteers dropped us off at the Super 8 Motel in Louisville, Ky. We crashed to bed and then were set to get up in a few hours to make the eight-hour venture to Gassville, Ark. Seven of us piled into a Kia mini-van around noon and were off. The drive proved to be longer than anticipated, but when our destination finally came before us we knew why we were there. We were wondering where the damage from the tornados was and then there it was. A house to the right in ruin; another one with a roof missing; rubbage and pieces of buildings all around us
and trees ripped up from underneath. We arrived to our the church around 10 p.m., unpacked, relaxed and got some much-needed sleep from a long 20 hours of
and then for Day

Day 1: Sunday was our first work day in Gassville. We joined together with some volunteers from Hands on Disaster Response (HODR).

First off was cleaning up the wreckage from a church knocked down during the storm. It was tough to look at the rubbage there now and imagining what once stood there. We weren't the only ones volunteering there: a local nurse with her father and daughter and dozens of Hands on volunteers. Everyone there had the same mindset of helping all these unfortunate people out.

So many local residents helping out and listening to the honks from cars for their appreciation driving by showed that our effort was appreciated.

Next up after the morning was moving a couple's things out of their house they moved into just seven days before the storm hit. They had lived there for just seven days and now had to move their things into storage for the time being while their house, which was seriously damaged in the storm, was rebuilt.

Moving the couple's belongings out was a sad reminder of the damage done and the lives affected by this gruesome event. It was also a good reminder of how much our help is needed.

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