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.