Hope for the Holidays

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Citizens Work Together for a Brighter 2018
For over a year since Central’s historic flood, family, friends, and volunteers from around the country have worked to help return Central citizens to their homes. Because the flooding damaged so many homes that were thought not to be in danger, many of them lacked flood insurance and are still struggling to return to their homes, or still have substantial repairs to make as they live in partially-gutted homes.
A group of volunteers is launching an effort this week to continue the work begun by so many volunteers, with the goal of identifying those still needing help, as well as those who can now give that help. Saturday workdays will begin in January, but organizing the volunteers and identifying the need will begin now, with the goal of giving Central families “Hope for the Holidays.”
In April of 2016 citizens got together under a Facebook group called “Central Cares” and dozens of volunteers came out for workdays for citizens who faced health challenges and were unable to keep up with their property. The August flooding sidelined this effort as everyone turned their attention to flood recovery for themselves and their families.
Central Cares organizer Dave Freneaux shared “Working with a small group of church volunteers to assist those still trying to get back home, it quickly became clear that the need is great. The only group large enough to do this effectively is the great volunteers of the generous Central community. I believe that many of us now have our families home and are returning to some sense of normalcy. We have been able to stop and rest a moment, and now many have the time and energy to extend that help to those still struggling.”
Dave explains that the intent is to assist those who were uninsured and do not have the resources to move home and complete the major flood repairs, and to tap into the tremendous generosity and care of the Central community to get the job done.
The effort will be coordinated on the Central Cares Facebook page. The post pinned to the top of the page contains a link to share privately the help that any citizen needs to return to their home or to make remaining repairs. More importantly, the reach and success of the effort will be limited only by the number of volunteers. A second link brings you to a private volunteer sign-up process, and a third link allows those with surplus materials to donate them to the effort.
Freneaux concluded, “The goal is to work Saturdays from 8 am to noon beginning on January 13th, and to keep working Saturday mornings, with whoever is available to volunteer that day, until the job is done. The number of work sites will only be limited by the number of volunteers. I know we can’t change the fact that many families will not celebrate this holiday season in their repaired homes, but we can start a process that gives ‘Hope for the Holidays.’”