Have you seen this video floating around on Facebook lately?
Isn’t it awesome? I cried all three times I watched it (no surprise there though…say the word “cry” and tears practically prick my eyes haha). Maybe I especially loved watching this video because Rob and I were lucky enough to be able to participate in it all. Our ward building is still without power from the storm so for us, this past Sunday wasn’t the usual! We had a Sacrament meeting at 8:30am in which everyone showed up in their “work” clothes. Definitely never been to church in sweats before—I much preferred it to wearing a skirt and heels. Shh! Don’t tell.
Anyway, at 9:30 we all piled onto a couple of buses and began the journey to Long Island. I knew what to expect as I’ve watched the news and seen the devastation, but no camera or TV can quite depict the devastation that was and still is so wide spread. The entirety of Long Island is literally destroyed: cars totaled, houses wrecked and covered in mold, yards and streets full of debris, structures collapsing, mud and sand caking the sidewalks and floors, glass shattered, and garbage every where. Not only did it physically look devastated, but emotionally as well. The streets were empty of people and when you did see someone you could almost feel the burdens they were carrying. It was a real eye opener and I wish so much that I could save everyone and everything that was touched by the storm.
So, where was I? Oh yeah, the buses. We unloaded and immediately split into teams, grabbed our “Mormon Helping Hands” vests, as well as masks, tools, and anything useful for our efforts. I spent the day gutting a house on the coastline. According to the homeowner, the basement was completely filled with water during the storm, as well as a portion of the upstairs. The house was completely ruined. We gutted the basement pulling up carpet, knocking down walls, and throwing away anything touched by the water. It took us all day to work on one house that really isn’t even close to being finished. It was crazy. There is still so much work to do.
Though I was saddened by my inability to help everybody, I feel so blessed to have been able to go and help even just one family—because even though they won’t remember my name, and I will probably never see them again, I made a difference in a small way. And I represented the church I love so much and everything that it stands for. It was overwhelming to see the neighborhood covered with people in yellow vests, doing good with every step they took.
Here are a few pictures from the day
this was the before picture when we were all happy and energized
There were cars washed up on people's front lawns.
Some of the debris from the house we gutted
no explanation necessary
This is the after (obviously). Lets not talk about how exhausted i look, haha.
So I guess the take hope for this blog post would be 1. To count your blessings because you never know when something is going to happen that completely changes your life, 2. Serving others makes you happy, and 3. Never ever live by a beach.