LCC LERT and Congregation Members from Cross – Yorkville Help Florida Community Still Recovering from Hurricane Irma
The first woman we helped was named Molly. Molly lives in Chokoloskee and works at the small grocery store in Everglades City. During the hurricane, Molly evacuated her home and stayed with her daughter in Naples. But when she returned, Molly saw that she had a lot of water damage. The water had come up about 4 feet in Molly’s mobile home. Our team was able to continue work that was already started in her home by installing some wood flooring in her kitchen and living room. Molly was very appreciative for the work that was done and to have Julie listen to her story. It was a blessing to serve Molly. Obviously the work is more than one person could handle on her own and we heard from other local residents that it’s difficult to even secure licensed help for projects. There are so many people in need of assistance and not enough workers to go around! Fortunately we have some very talented people at Cross who knew exactly what to do!
The second site in Chokoloskee was with a couple named Connie and William. The work we were assigned inside the mobile home was to repair some of the new drywall that was previously hung and mud over the tape. Groups have come through to help this couple with the work but William and Connie have to pay for all the materials. Their issue is that they didn’t even know where to begin with repairs, and they haven’t been able to get any contractors in to do anything. So many people have need for repairs and there’s not enough help to go around.
At the third site in Chokoloskee, the guys cut up and loaded scrap metal onto a trailer. There’s an empty lot in Chokoloskee that had turned into a dumping ground. The one neighbor to the lot had tried to put up a sign discouraging dumping, but no one paid any attention. This neighbor has been almost run over, threatened with a knife or being shot, when he had confronted people trying to dump in the lot. The guys cut up and moved remains of a burned out trailer. Other metal was also loaded up onto the trailer. When all was said and done, the trailer full of metal weighed 17,000 lbs! You can only imagine what people thought as they drove by. Here’s this eyesore in the town, an empty lot that had turned into a dump, and a handful of outsiders cleaning it up. We’re reminded of the attitude that our Savior had as He washed His disciple’s feet. To serve someone is to put aside things you feel are rights and privileges and just do what needs to be done to love someone else. Our team demonstrated Christ’s love in a very tangible way, and the neighborhood noticed.
The team felt they had accomplished much, but there is still much work to be done. Pastor Matt said that everywhere they went in Everglade City and Chokoloskee, from homeowners to local stores and restaurants, the people would express their gratitude for coming and helping … not forgetting they still need help. They feel blessed for having served.