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Connecting Volunteers to Disaster Survivors

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Volunteers with the Christian Aid Ministries working on Sherri Gill’s Denham Springs home.
Volunteers with the Christian Aid Ministries working on Sherri Gill’s Denham Springs home. Download Original

Like many living in the Baton Rouge area, life-long Denham Springs resident Sherri Gills home had never flooded until August 2016. Rising water forced Gill and her family to evacuate to her brothers home, and for an extended period of time, 27 people, 13 dogs and two cats lived in a three bedroom, two bath house.

 

With no flood insurance the only option for the Gill family was to rebuild on their own – a job that quickly presented many challenges.

 

My brother and husband framed up the house and put up the roof, but my husband, Ken, fell off a ladder and broke his ankle, Gill said.

 

The next setback was when the family ran out of money before the home construction was complete. Thats when our Volunteer Agency Liaisons reached out to the faith-based nonprofit Christian Aid Ministries to assist the Gills.

 

Volunteer Agency Liaisons continue to help survivors recover after the2016 Louisiana flooding by connecting survivors with nonprofits. The liaisons help disaster survivors with unmet needs locate resources and build a bridge between the survivor and resources to assist in the recovery process.

 

To date, 331 nonprofit, community and faith-based agencies have been assisting Louisiana survivors impacted by flooding in March and August of 2016.

 

I look at a disaster as a puzzle. The pieces of the puzzle being the national, state and local nonprofits and faith-based groups that have stepped up to help citizens, Volunteer Agency Liaison Debbie Meyer said. I assisted in forming long term recovery committees with these nonprofits to help put the puzzle together.

 

It wasnt until Meyers connected Gill with Norma Schrock, of CAM that the puzzle starting coming together for Gill.

Gill said she is now hopeful her family will recover from the flood. The process is going faster than expected, she added.

 

Schrock said her ministry is in the process of providing manpower for up to 40 flood recovery projects since August 2016.

I feel like its an opportunity that God has given us, Schrock said. Hes placed us here and calls us to do this. We do it to bring all the glory to God.

 

Gill said working with Norma these last few months on building her home has also built a lifelong friendship.

“I hope once we get in the house, me and her stay in contact,” Gill said. “And maybe someday if she needs something she calls me up, and I could go help Louisiana survivors for the March and August floods of 2016.”

Last Updated: 
04/18/2018 - 11:46

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