“Help!” – The Beatles
“Help me if you can I’m feeling down and I do appreciate you being round. Help me get my feet back on the ground. Won’t you please, please help me?”
So, we are in San Antonio, Texas… It’s a beautiful place. The Alamo, The Riverwalk, The Mission Trail – there is so much to see and do but we didn’t come here for the San Antonio sites, we came here to help hurricane victims.
We signed up with “RV Disaster Corp.” which is a non-profit organization that works under FEMA supplying folks like us that have an RV to volunteer in disaster areas and they asked us to come here to San Antonio to help. We are working in a warehouse, sorting, boxing and labeling donations that people were so generous in giving. These donations came from all over America. The boxes must be gone through and separated into like items and then re-boxed and labeled.
Let me tell you, we are not the heroes of this story.
You need to meet some of the people giving of their time besides us. First there is Valerie and she is from Colorado. I know she would love to be there in Colorado watching airshows with her husband but she is working 7 days a week in the warehouse, supervising the operation in this section of the warehouse. Then there are the kids from AmeriCorps. There was about ten of them and they change out volunteers every week. The group we worked with this past week were very serious about their work and very cute when it was time to play during a break. As their team leader explained to me, they mentor “at risk children” in the community and in the case of a disaster they do what they can to help others.
There were a couple of other locals here as well, volunteering an hour or so here and there, which I know Valerie appreciates all the help she can get.
Then here we come, two old out of shape, RVers. We are used to sitting outside in the evening enjoying the day we spent driving down the road, looking at the trees and at rocks the water was running over. Our days are filled with lots of relaxing and not a lot of physical work.
Now this may be our volunteer time but it sure felt like work to me. We only lasted about 6 hours a day this week and I’m hurting. I have pains in pains and all kinds of new pains but somewhere in all my moaning it feels good, it gives us purpose. When we arrived in Texas we came through Bridge City, Port Arthur and on into Houston, then arrived in San Antonio. It almost made me cry to see the stuff on the curb of the houses we passed by. The things that people had to throw out because of the hurricane damage were not just little piles of stuff, some went all the way down the block. Piled as high as they could get it. I just can’t imagine seeing my stuff, my most important items of my life destroyed and left for the garbage man to pick up. I saw a crib on the curb, my God that baby now has no bed to sleep in.
These people need a lot of help that’s all I can say. I know there have been other storms, other disasters and there will be more. While I’m here I must look at the here and now. I have no idea where these boxes are going that we are sorting and if they will help someone or not. I sure hope so because we are here for one more week of sorting, boxing and labeling and then on to see friends and family, who knows, we may be back as we were told it may be over a year before everyone around here gets back to a normal life….
Remember the Alamo, on to our next adventure….