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Dear friends in Christ,
In a recent e-mail from Dale and Jean Peercy, LDR Construction Coordinators, Jean writes that "Summer has ended and schools are in session, football the big discussion topic for many and our homeowners are waiting for the much needed volunteer to help with the repairs needed on their home. It has been over a year since the first flood left its water mark, followed by another water mark for many in September and October, as well as a tornado to mix things and resources up really good. There are projects funded-some still waiting on funds to arrive, volunteer housing is available, but where are the volunteers? Many are taking care of disasters closer to home, some even their own. Dale and I are working on more estimates as well as projects as we can, but we need the help that comes from the smiling faces and caring hearts of the volunteers across the country to give us a hand."
Recently Susan Kim wrote a fine article for www.disasternews.net entitled "South TX needs volunteers." I would like to share her words with you:
South TX Needs Volunteers
Sinton, Texas (October 8, 2003)
When floods hit the southeastern Texas coast — and they often do — the Rev. Bill Jackson often has to help his congregation cope with the effects.
Jackson, pastor at the Sinton Presbyterian Church, said flood damage seems almost inevitable. "In this area, they allowed people to build homes where homes never should have been built," he said. Sinton, in San Patricio County, is part of a flat coastal area that bears the brunt of hurricanes, tornadoes and thunderstorms.
And just up the road in Nueces County, recovery is still underway from a trio of disasters in 2002 — floods struck in July, Tropical Storm Fay hit in September, and a tornado touched down in October.
More than two years later, the area needs volunteers, said Dale Peercy of Lutheran Disaster Response.
"We have only two volunteers for the rest of the year," he said.
Local churches and disaster response teams are working through a group called the Disaster Recovery Interfaith of the Coastal Bend. The organization has a warehouse located in Robstown, just north of Corpus Christi.
The group has funded repairs for at least 12 homes, and it already has building materials for six of those, said Peercy.
"We just need willing workers," he said.
The Disaster Recovery Interfaith of the Coastal Bend is also working with Mennonite Disaster Service and the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee to recruit volunteer teams. "But there is nothing definite yet," said Peercy.
During the summer — when volunteerism usually peaks — southern Texas didn't see much action. "There were so many disasters in everyone's home state, or one state away from people, that the folks who usually travel across the country to help us out traveled nearer their home," Peercy said.
Many residents in Robstown are particularly vulnerable, Peercy said. "This is a really poor community," he said. Many homes were in a state of disrepair before floods even hit, he said.
But the Disaster Recovery Interfaith of the Coastal Bend is trying to use its limited funds to focus on disaster-related repairs, he said. "We try to keep that as our priority," said Peercy.
Peercy suffered his own setback a year ago when he was helping with flood recovery in Houston. Someone stole his whole truckload of tools.
But with the help of Lutheran Disaster Response, local churches and volunteer groups, Peercy has restocked his tool chest. It shed a new light on how people who lose everything to a flood must feel, he said.
"I can relate to people who lost personal items in floods," he said. "I still remember how my favorite tools felt in my hand."
The Disaster Recovery Interfaith of the Coastal Bend has a small warehouse in Robstown where donations of building mater ials are gladly accepted. "We can always use stuff like drywall," said Peercy.
And monetary donations are another welcome option, he added. "We have another 40 homes we're ready to go estimate," he said.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>end of Susan Kim article<<<<<<<<<<<<<
Your help is needed. As Jean Peercy continues in her note, "Repairs to a home can be done by a contractor, but the helping hand of the volunteer is where the true healing from disaster begins. The difference comes from the heart of the volunteer. By listening to the story of the homeowner, as they survived and discovered that the Lord really does care, by calling each of us into our own mission, of spreading the gospel by our actions and only using words if we have to. Anyone interested in giving a little of themselves to the many in need please call Jean Peercy . We have projects for teams up to 15-20, a variety of skill levels, and experience."
To Volunteer: Call Jean Peercy, at 361-767-7608, or e-mail her at email@example.com
To provide financial support, send your contributions designated "Texas Floods" to
ELCA DOMESTIC Disaster Response
PO Box 71764
Chicago, Illinois 60694-1764
Credit card gift line: 1-800-638-3522
Credit card gifts via the web: www.elca.org/disaster
LC-MS World Relief and Human Care
P.O. Box 66861
St. Louis, MO 63166-9810
Credit card gift line: 1-888-930-4438
Yours in Christ,
Gilbert B. Furst (written on October 15, 2003 at 3:00 p.m.). Director for ELCA Domestic Disaster Response (Division for Church in Society) and Lutheran Disaster Response (a cooperative ministry of the ELCA and LC-MS) 8765 W. Higgins Rd., Chicago 60631 PHONE: 773-380-2822 FAX: 773-380-2493 Please visit our new website