Our first day on an actual clean up site was Cherrywood. It is the most overwhelming thing to get to an area that has been completely demolished and asked to “clean it up”. In almost 100 degree heat, in the sun, we raked, shoveled and wheel barreled our way through two house lots. It is the only way to do it; with basic tools to give the people who live there and their insurance companies the ability to assess the damage.
We met more volunteers from all over on this assignment too. There was James Brown, and his group from his church in Florida, Chris from Mississippi, a couple from Georgia and some from West Virginia. They had been here a week and still were shocked at what they saw. They had great presence though and were extremely upbeat about the difficult job that we were doing.
In these lots, there were boats everywhere. We aren’t completely sure where they came from. Some tell us that there was a boat sales/repair shop close by and some said that they could have come from the lake in town. Either way, it is incredible to see these boats somewhere clearly that they did not start off at.
Toward the end of our work day, the gentlemen who owned the lot where we were cleaning was there with his blueprints ready to build better than the original house. In this area that often had no hope in it, we could still see people beginning their lives again. Like the man who was rebuilding on the lot we were cleaning, there were already other houses on their way up as well as homes where the damage was fixable, it was getting done. People are intrepid and it was definitely visible in this hot June day.