New Orleans Cleanup & UCC Volunteers
Page 4

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In 123 man hours, 6 of us gutted a 1,500 sq. ft. home. Helen, the owner was an 81 year lady who had lived in the home for 60 years. The black leather pull-out bed was still wet. The mold was really bad in this room. Our dust masks leaked a little and we each had 2 large green mold farms beneath our eyes from breathing the air.

 

Also Helen, the daughter, sorting through her mother's possessions. Note the jumbo Scrabble board her husband had hand crafted. Between tears, Helen sat in the driveway and painstakingly hand rubbed the board and every letter with Lysol. It took her 3 days!

 

The oak floors in her bedroom were heaved up 6 inches.  

 

Household goods in the street  

 

George removing drywall. Collin specialized on the removal of the bathroom. Molly, an 18 year old freshman from Smith University worked with a vengence.
I guess we all did.

 

   

 

After the studs were clean and the doors removed, Helen's thoughts changed. She finally saw hope for what would be her new home. David - work, work, work.

 

  Clean driveway.

 

FEMA was wonderful, after all the household goods were at the curb, we didn't know where we were going to put the drywall and carpets.That night, FEMA picked it all up and trucked it off. They picked up 3 more times in the next 3 days We didn't get a picture of the household goods, the pile was 6' high by 10' by 20'. You can tell this was the last load, just insulation and drywall.

 

After we had vacuumed and swept the whole home, and blown the driveway; we all formed a circle in the driveway. Helen's daughter prayed for us and Helen and her new home. For us, it made the whole trip worthwhile.

 

As I write this 2 weeks later, tears come to my eyes when I think of this "regal lady" and the way she handled her problems. "The salvation of the righteous is from the Lord, he is their refuge in the time of trouble." Psalm 37 - 39

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