Last Week of the Hurricane Michael Deployment

It is bittersweet writing this week’s report. After today the Gulf branch will dissolve into the Bay branch and our beloved command staff will get ready to demobilize. This week has been full of adventure and adversity and we faced it all as a united Gulf family. We began this week with all of our 5 field teams, including the command staff, working on one site. The homeowner was not able to move her FEMA trailer on her property due to downed trees and yards upon yards of debris. A site that would usually take one team two or three days to do took our entire branch 3 hours to finish.

Seeing everyone outside with their bright yellow vests and seeing the homeowner eternally grateful was a reminder of why we are here and why this term of service is so important. We are part of the recovery and healing process, not only for the community but for the survivors as well.

Days before Thanksgiving we had some very important people come down to visit: Barbara Stewart, Gina Cross, and Jen Murphy, the people who make all of this possible, were able to see the community we serve. They were able to see us in action and see all the good work that they support and sponsor.

On Thanksgiving some of our members took the opportunity to go back to their conservation roots and help clean up a park. The park was associated with the Arc of Florida, a non-profit organization that helps improve the quality of life for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The project was among one of the best some of our member’s experienced so far in this deployment.

As this week comes to an end, we celebrate surpassing our goal of serving 100 homeowner properties. This deployment has been challenging but it has also been very rewarding and transformational for many of our members. In the beginning we were separate teams with one mission in mind. Now we are a family. Thank you NCCC and Saint Louis. You have made this deployment one for the books.

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