I first met Jeff and worked with the group when they came to Slidell after Katrina and helped a local family named the Nata’s. That was in 2006. Jeff invited me to go that same year to DeGonia Springs, Indiana to help on the Baker Chapel project. I was hooked. What an incredible experience. Then we went to Groesbeck, Texas to help the Vincents rebuild. I brought four other guys with me. The bond with other volunteers continually gets stronger.
The next year we went to Greensburg, Kansas where we had 10 guys planning to come, but a Hurricane in Louisiana kept all back except four of us. There we helped build the local 4-H pavilion. We weren’t able to stay until the Sunday closing ceremony due to another hurricane threatening our State again, so we left early Sunday morning for the 16 hour drive home.
Last year I was able to bring 12 guys to Little Sioux,Iowa to work on the Scout Camp Chapel. My guys all had an incredible experience and many are coming back this year. It was probably one of the most humbling trips to date. On the bright side, the friendships made in past trips are even stronger and it is great to see all of ” the gang” each year in a new town. It is also very rewarding to know you have helped another community to heal….just as so many did for our area after Katrina and for New York after the cowardly attacks in 2001.
This year I will be bringing a total of 17 guys. I have people getting on a waiting list now that want to come in the future. It’s incredible.