Looking Out for the Few

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CENTRAL FIRST BLUEb largerIn August of 2016 most homes in Central flooded, some worse than others, but even a foot of water likely did $50,000 in damage. So, the repairs began. The most fortunate had flood insurance, while others turned to savings or sold off investments or assets to pay for the repairs.
There were also those fortunate to have the skills to make their own repairs, or who had family and friends skilled enough to get the job done. Then even more learned new skills. I would venture that Central boasts one of the highest percentage of citizens who are now modestly skilled in hanging, mudding, and finishing sheetrock, and installing doors and trim. These skills were hard-earned out of the necessity of helping ourselves, our friends, and our family.
That takes care of most of Central, but what about the few? There are a few, and if you don’t know them, you have certainly seen their FEMA trailers, still there after 18 months. People uninsured and not living in a flood zone, whose homes had never flooded, and are at a place in life where the resources are just not there to get back into their homes.
Every Saturday morning since January, I have had the distinct pleasure of working with dozens of Central citizens who were fortunate enough to get back into their homes, and found themselves ready to help the few. This informal group goes by the name “Central Cares,” and they are amazing. They have come with skills, and with no skills but a willingness to help, coming out on the Saturdays they can spare, from 8  a.m. to noon, and making a difference for the few.
We have done as little as plumbing up a few sinks to help a family make that final move home, to taking on a home that was gutted to the studs and is now ready for final paint and trim. Honestly, getting to know these volunteers and learning new skills has been almost as rewarding as the knowledge that a few more of our neighbors can move home.
I want to encourage you to read the front page article, see how you can get involved, and even tell us about someone you know that needs a little help from friends to get back home. Central’s Great Flood of 2016 is a recent and difficult memory for most of Central, but it is still a reality for the few. Consider coming out, even for just one Saturday morning, and I think you will be back again. Contact me at [email protected] or 225-413-1616 to join us.