I am back from a week (actually a bit longer) of volunteering in Galveston Texas with BonaResponds. It was a good trip. By no means was it my favorite BonaResponds trip, but it was still good. Much work got done. We had 44 people.
The work was spotty (especially later in the week) but in part great. We cleaned over 2 miles of road, gutted about 6 homes, helped drywall a home, helped roof and put up interior walls and ceilings at one home, helped put up siding on one house, helped rough wire a house, wrapped the exterior of one house, installed electric for RV parking, moved a family, painted several interiors, and sandblasted and painted 17 bunk beds.
All in all a productive week.
Galveston was different from most places we have been. Parts of the city looked normal while others looked horrible. Moreover, it was seemingly a ghost town once you got off the main streets. I am not sure what part of this is because it was a vacation area for many, and what portion of it is that people have just given up and moved on.
Galveston was also home to some of the worst housing conditions I have seen rivaling even the poor parts of New Orleans or East Biloxi.
Did we solve the problems of the residents? No, but for many, we did make things better and that is all we can really hope to do.
BTW If you ever want to get involved with BonaResponds, there is no need to be affiliated with SBU at all. Just let me know and I can make you aware of upcoming trips etc.
Largely cross posted on the BonaResponds blog too.