I am putting together a team from the Lehigh Valley, PA to head to the greater Houston area September 16th-24th to help out wherever we're needed. Having made several trips to Mississippi after Katrina, I can't begin to tell you the difference that a few dedicated volunteers can make in people's lives. And not only in theirs, but in yours. This will be a trip to rebuild houses, search for the missing, and provide security against looters for battered neighborhoods. The general plan is to load up as many cars, trucks and trailers with as much food, water, tools and building supplies as we can carry, and drive it down there (supplies down there will become scarce as rebuilding starts).
So how can you help?
Lehigh Valley Friends (or those along the way!):
I need a core group of people skilled in General Contracting for home repairs, searchers, and security. We will also need support people like cooks, general laborers, and just extra sets of helping hands. Once we find a suitable place to stage and work from (I'm going to look into churches willing to host us) we'll head out into the surrounding neighborhoods to accomplish as much as we can in the time we have. This will not be a vacation. It will be some of the hardest, dirtiest, but most rewarding work you have ever done.
Houston Area Friends:
First off, we need somewhere to stage, sleep, and use as a base of operations. If you know of a church or area that can hold a group of willing volunteers, please feel free to send me their contact info. We'll also need projects. Ideally we're looking for an area where we can work on several projects at once (like a neighborhood with 3-4 houses that need work). This will let us float manpower and resources between locations more easily. Again, if you know of anything, feel free to reach out. *UPDATE* We think we've found a place to stay!
If you can't join us, feel free to donate. This trip will be self-funded, so we'll need money for building supplies, fuel for generators, and for the food and water to be handed out to the people of Houston. We can probably also use donations of clothes, kids toys, and (even if only temporarily) of things like enclosed trailers and generators. I've started this GoFundMe in case you'd like to help out. Any funds not used for this trip will either be held onto for future trips or donated to a Boots-On-The-Ground charity doing work in Texas.
I've also started a Facebook group that you can join if you're interested in going along, or just want to stay informed as to what we're planning. Please feel free to join us in facebook.com/groups/LehighValleyHelpingHouston .
I hope to have some kind of in-person meeting set up within the next week or so.
And if nothing else, please keep us in your thoughts and prayers, and feel free to share this with your friends.
Thanks for your support.
- Toni Kuzmack
- Nina Jarrah
- Cynthia Shipwash
- Matthew Hamm