Saturday, December 29, 2012

New York ....

Today we spent the day in Long Island, NY helping a family rebuild. It is amazing to see the strength of these individuals out East. What could have and maybe even should have destroyed their spirit, has not! I have learned so much from these people in my short time having been out is just amazing!

I am not gone yet, and already am trying to figure out when I will return.

If you have not checked out the organization that I am working with this time out here, please is "We are Team Jersey" ...I have met 3 of the 5 board member's, and they are AMAZING!!! They really do know the true meaning of giving back to their friends and neighbors.....I wish there were more people like this group of people in the world.

I will update again tomorrow as it is late, and I need to be up early in the morning to "make a difference" in the lives of others. Please continue to keep myself and the entire East Coast in your happy thoughts and prayers as they do their best to rebuild their lives.

Friday, December 28, 2012

New Jersey.....the tragedy continues!

It has been a crazy wild ride since I first started doing Mission work to New Jersey to help with Hurricane Sandy. I have said it on many occasions that my heart never left the East Coast after my vacation in October with Maddy.

Well as many of you know, I am back here again! I left December 26th at 5:15 a.m. and arrived at 4:30 p.m. due to a few flight issues again :)

The first day was a bit of a blurr....I met Shannon, my host "mom" (even though she is younger than me)...haha. Shannon started We are Team Jersey all on her own after Hurricane Sandy and has since recruited so many volunteers that she is becoming a nonprofit organization. She is an amazing woman with a huge heart. Check her page on facebook and you will see her passion for doing this!

The first day I arrived, New Jersey was getting hit hard with a massive rain storm :( Several of the properties we needed to get to were flooded ....some we accessed after low tide hit and the water receeded. Crazy stuff.....they can not seem to catch a break!

Today I went and spent the entire day in Wenonah, NJ - working on a home that had a fire....this was very heartbreaking. The family was very appreciative of everything we did. We had the help of 7 fire fighters from Georgia that came down for the week to volunteer their time and talents as well as 2 gals that drove from Pennsylvania and a few locals. What an amazing Crew we had. Oh, and I can not forget the family from Virginia - they and their children were a great help both today and yesterday.

I have no idea how Shannon from We are Team Jersey does it. Last night she informed me she and an emergency board meeting and asked if I could be her for the day! My friends, I like to get dirty, but facilitating it was definately something new for me :) It all went fantastic thanks to Joe....we made a GREAT TEAM. I will post pics and update again tomorrow....until then ....please keep us all in your happy thoughts and/or prayers.

Peace, Love and hugs! Monica

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Merry Christmas .........

As Christmas approaches, I have been asked by many friends and family what I want for Christmas.  As I thought about it, I came to a definitive conclusion......I wanted to go back to the East Coast to assist with the relief efforts. As I have said numerous times, my body may be in Minnesota, but my heart is still out East!  

So....what better gift than the gift of being able to help others?  

My flight is booked and I am headed back to the shore on  December 26th. 

Because I am flyin,  it limits the donations that I can take.......but I am able and willing to take what I can.  Needs at this time are gift cards for Home Depot, Lowes, Walmart, or. Visa cards. They could also use cash donations to help with the supplies we need to help them get their home healthy enough to live in.    

If you would like to donate anything , please let me know!  Ever little bit helps. :)

While I am there, I will have the opportunity to stop back and visit with the families we helped on the first go round.....I can not wait to see Carlos and Ms Liz.   

Please send happy thoughts or prayers our way as we work together to rebuild and restore the East  shore!

No one can do everything, but everyone can do something.  Humanity matters!  ( my favorite saying lately).  

Friday, December 7, 2012

Good afternoon.....I have been home since November 25th, 2012.  It has been a whirlwind! 

Getting back to reality has been a lot more difficult than I had ever expected it to be.  Going on a Mission Trip is truly life changing.  It is very difficult to put into words, but for any of you that have ever done anything like this, you know what I am talking about.  For those of you that have never done such a thing, the one thing I can say is that it will forever be in your heart and on your mind 24/7. 

I have mentioned on facebook a few times that my heart is still on the East Coast, and that is a fact.  It is hard to walk away from them when there is soo much to do.  I have made several connections on the East Coast just from being out there one week and have many opportunities to return to help them.  I will be returning for sure....just trying to work out the details with my job, family and other commitments.  As a Christian, I do believe that as an able bodied person, It is a responsiblity of mine to be the hands and feet of god :)

A Coworker of mine is what prompted me to get back on my blog and update it.  She said she saw a news report that volunteerism and donations have decreased already out East.  This makes me sad to think that is the case.  These people have lost everything and rebuilding will be going on for years!  It doesn't go away when the news stops reporting about it.  This is where my coworker come's in......she told me it was my right and responsiblity to share my story, the pictures that I took, etc. so that everyone knows just how bad it really is out East.  Imagine coming home after being gone for a vacation to find your entire home destroyed, and all of your personal belongings out on the street for the City workers to pick up.....this is what people there are dealing with on a daily basis.  It is life changing for them......for the fortunate ones that are able to keep the frame of their home; it will need to be totally stripped, treated for mold and rebuilt 4 feet up on every wall; all flooring or built in cabinets have to be removed as well.  There is a lot of work to be done.

There are some amazing peoople and non profit organizations that I have met out East (specifically New Jersey) that are working their tails off to help neighbors, friends, and virtual strangers.....but they need our help.  If you feel compelled to help in any way, please let me know and I can put you in touch with the people that are in a position to help you out.  Or if you would like to donate anything that I could personally take with me when I go back, I would be happy to transport that as well.  I do know that they are currently most in need of gloves, mold masks, protective clothing for cleaning, etc., gift cards for Home Depot, or Lowes (No Menards as they don't have any of those stores out east).  Please let me know if you would like to donate to our friends on the East Coast.

Driving into Atlantic City, New Jersey there was bulletin board that said "Nice try Sandy, but we are Jersey Strong".....I believe that this is true and they will rebuild, but it takes all of us to rally together to help make that happen.

Have a GREAT DAY, and I will update when I think of new information that should be shared.