Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Report from Mike

Mike sent along the following:
"My first thought when we started seeing areas that had once been flooded less than a week ago was how impressive it was that the people had accomplished so much
so quickly. Dont get me wrong there is tons of work to still be done this is just the start but the people here are to a point that is similar to where New Orleans
residents were a year after the storm. The mid west attitude is to put your head down and get to work; people around here have never asked for help doing anything and they aren't about to start now. That is the mind set of a lot of people around town; although we have having no trouble finding work. There are some people that feel that they have lost everything and that their is no reason to do anything but demolish the house but we have been able to convince these people that with
some help from the volunteers we can get them on
their way toward moving back home.

So far on the trip we have been gutting peoples homes; which consists of tearing up floors, tearing down walls, moving possessions, mucking basements of the settled dirt and removing all the destroyed items and housing materials. Most of the homes in the area we are working in had their basements filled and about 2-3 feet of water in the first level.

The people here are very grateful of the help you are providing and are more than willing to work right along side you which is not always the case in service
trips. A perfect example was a man we helped today; we caught him off guard because we were at his door an hour after he had requested help. He was a "tough guy"; he
workedon his own cars he had a collection of guns and mounted animals to show for his skilled shooting. He was a man's man but when it came time for us to call
it a day he came to us in thanks and could not hold back the tears. He didn't know how he could repay us for the help and was incredibly grateful. These tears are
probably triggered by our help but it is something he has probably needed for the past week; he has lost his home and all his things; its an overwhelming
experience and it just feels great to know we could help.

There is more work here than can be handled by the residents and the volunteers we presently have. Hands On is constantly looking for more volunteers and has
projects lined up waiting to be filled. Please come help get these hard working people back into their homes.

The trip here and the physical work you do here is important but its not even half of what makes these trips what they are. The people you meet; fellow volunteers, home owners, as well as people from the community truly make the trip the life changing experience it is."

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