ARCADIA–Forty three volunteers from the Central Nebraska area departed the Arcadia United Methodist Church by bus on Saturday, June 2 for Sinton, TX. Among the communities represented were Taylor, Ord, O’Neill, Brady, Valentine, Broken Bow, St. Paul, Ravenna, Central City, Valley, Lincoln, Arcadia, Curtis, Clearwater, Sutherland, Sargent, Martell, Crete, Comstock, Kimberling City, MO, and Germany.
They arrived in Sinton, which is located just northwest of Corpus Christi and nestled into their home for the next six nights. They were housed in the First United Methodist Church.
Monday morning, forty of our team members were divided into work groups, depending on work skills. The week was spent making repairs to the homes of individual families who had been living in their damaged homes since Hurricane Harvey tore the roofs off on August 25, 2017. While the roofs had been replaced, the damage from water inside had not. Our team tore off and replaced damaged ceilings and insulation, removed and replaced flooring with either tile or vinyl, replaced kitchen cupboards, insulated and hung drywall on walls, removed, replaced, and painted siding, mudded and finished drywall, and completed numerous other work projects.
All homes except one had the families living in them, so their personal items and furniture had to be moved and worked around. Working conditions were quite extreme, with the heat index reaching 100-110 degrees each day.
The families we worked for had been screened by the United Methodist Committee on Relief to determine that their needs were legitimate. After getting to know each of them during the week we certainly concurred that they had more than their share of difficulties, both from the storm and with other circumstances like major health issues. It was a blessing to meet and help them and certainly helped us to come back to our own homes feeling very fortunate.
Our three wonderful cooks prepared our breakfasts for us at the church each morning and had a hot meal waiting for us when we returned each evening. Each team member packed their own sack lunch for the worksite. Most days found us on the worksite by around 8:00 a.m. and it was usually 6:00-7:00 p.m. when we returned. A shower trailer with four showers was provided for cleaning up and was a challenge to get 40 dirty bodies through in a timely manner. Our kitchen crew transported a picnic supper to the Gulf beach on Tuesday evening so we could experience a little frolic in the ocean. Most of us were only working a couple of miles from the shore.
We were blessed to be able to stop by the Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX on the way home on Saturday June 9. Most were able to sit inside the Mission Control Center where the early space flights and the first moon landing were monitored. We were also able to walk inside one of the space shuttles and the huge Boeing aircraft which transported it back to Kennedy Space Center for another space mission. There were many interesting displays.
After spending Saturday night near Dallas, TX, we returned to Arcadia at 9:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 10. Everyone was tired and ready for rest but also looking forward to the next opportunity to be of help to someone in need.
Front Row, L-R: Marilyn Moody, Kyla Jensby, Zoe Ritz, Bailey Coons, Madi
Dodson, Harlie Nolze
2nd Row, L-R: Rolen Sell, Hannah Meeks, Earlene Wulf, Morgan Ritz, Lacy Beaver,
Matt Berry, Marilyn Musil, Kelli Wiiest, Kelsey Sheer, Teresa Staab
3rd Row, L-R: Doug Jilg, Ron Moody, Delmer Dietz, Sheryl Block, Chris Paider,
Penny Einspahr, Savannah Beethe, Kristi Meeks, Shaylee
Chilewski, Julie Hoagland, Pam Hersh, Mary Ann Rickertson,
Jazzy Nolze, Betty Jo Sell, Tiffany Hoagland, Bill Staab
Far Back, L-R: Lance Sears, Seth Woodward, Kasey Hornickel, Shelby Schneider,
Owen Mann, Shawn Myers, Maryssa Long, Elias Hamm, Pat Hoagland, Jaden Hornickel, Lance Heyner