Multitude of Volunteers Work to Assist Homeowners Struggling After Hurricane Isaac
Friday, March 22, 2013
ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST PARISH – Volunteers from Eight Days of Hope, the non-profit faith-based organization dedicated to disaster relief, have returned home from their eight-day tenure in St. John the Baptist Parish(SJBP). During their stay, they clocked in more than 100,000 hours of repair work to Hurricane Isaac damaged homes. A hefty roster of 2,510 volunteers, the organization’s largest mission yet, repaired 228 homes from March 9 to March 16, sixty-seven of which were completed. The group finished 631 home repair projects, which included hanging sheetrock, repairing roofs, laying tile, removing trees and painting rooms. A vigorous cleanup of Isaac-devastated neighborhoods was another task accomplished by the volunteers. During their time in St. John, volunteers made minor repairs to various community facilities including REGALA Park and local churches. “Eight Days of Hope X was our most successful trip ever as we had volunteers show up from all over the world and accomplished more than $4.1 million in repair work,” said Steve Tybor, President of Eight Days of Hope. “Some of our team members have even decided to stay for a few extra days to finish jobs.”
Homes were selected for the Eight Days of Hope mission through registration with the St. John Volunteer Reception Center (VRC) and case management conducted by various volunteer agencies. The SJBP LTRG worked diligently to prepare for the arrival of Eight Days of Hope and assisted in identifying homeowners with pressing needs. Harry Theriot whose home in Belle Pointe Subdivision in LaPlace flooded during the storm and received severe roof damage, held back tears as he expressed his gratitude for Eight Days of Hope. “It’s hard to explain how thankful I am for the volunteers who worked to repair my home but also for lifting my spirits and helping me smile again,” said Theriot.
Steve Tybor and his leadership team selected St. John the Baptist Parish for Eight Days of Hope’s tenth mission after Pastor Checkerz Williams of Celebration Church in LaPlace guided them into the area and after meeting extensively with the SJBP LTRG and Parish President Robottom. The SJBP LTRG in partnership with the St. John United Way allocated $175,000 to Eight Days of Hope for the purchase of rebuilding materials and other expenses associated with the parish-wide rebuilding effort. “Eight Days of Hope was a blessing to our community providing hope where little remained,” said Parish President Natalie Robottom. “They provided a huge boost to our recovery efforts, moving us further along the path to recovery by rebuilding homes and bringing love into our community, for that we are forever grateful.”
Special thanks to all local faith-based and non-profit organizations and agencies who partnered with St. John Parish and the LTRG to assist with the Eight Days of Hope relief trip: St. John United Way, Celebration Church River Parishes Campus, New Wine Christian Fellowship, Lifehouse Church, New Orleans Baptist Association, Capital One Bank and the South Louisiana Red Cross.
As hundreds of volunteers have served in St. John the Baptist Parish since Hurricane Isaac, other volunteers are expected to arrive; projects that were not completed will remain on the St. John VRC list for future volunteer assistance.
Residents who are still in need of Hurricane Isaac rebuilding assistance can call the Home Repair Hotline at (985) 359-0254 Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., email firstname.lastname@example.org visit www.stjohnrecovery.comto register for assistance from volunteers who will be entering the parish in the future. A volunteer reception center is open for anyone interested in volunteering or donating construction materials, tools, and/or supplies for rebuilding. The reception center and multi-agency warehouse are located at 1929 W. Airline Hwy, and are open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. If interested in helping, contact the Volunteer Assistance Hotline at 985-359-1024. Monetary Donations can be made to St. John United Way (designate for SJBP Long Term Recovery Group), P. O. Box 2019, Reserve, LA 70084; or to the “Hurricane Isaac Recovery Fund”, First National Bank, 377 Belle Terre Blvd., LaPlace, LA 70068, www.hurricaneisaacrecoveryfund.com. For additional information on St. John recovery, visit www.stjohnrecovery.com.