South Jacksonville Presbyterian Church
This week we had a great group of six volunteers from South Jacksonville Presbyterian Church in Florida, sent to us from St. Paul’s. Three ladies helped us reorganize our supplies at both South Salcedo and Hope, and three guys worked on our houses at South Salcedo.
The church’s Co-Director of Youth Ministries, Andrea Hartley, told us that this was her group’s third post-Katrina volunteer trip to the region, but first with YRNO. She’s been touched by people’s storm stories.
“You just can’t help but want to be there for them to do what you can,” she said. “We’re not overly skilled, but we can be here and we can go back and we can tell people why this is important work to do.
“And it’s not done yet. I think we were shocked that six years after the storm–two years ago we were in the city–there were still so many doors with spray paint. There were still so many homes that just laid devastated, all the empty lots where the homes had just been bulldozed, that are green now but you know used to be someone’s home. Unbelievable. And even now, eight years later, it’s better, but it’s still shocking that this house that we’re sitting in front of has just been sitting here empty, gutted, waiting for someone to come love on it. It’s just unbelievable.
“Unless you see it, you just don’t know. You can’t know.”