October 2015, South Carolina suffered from heavy rains that caused major flooding. In fact, it was 24 inches of rain in 11 hours. The rain was so heavy that it caused three dams to fail. There was damage to businesses, homes, roadways, etc. The week of July 5-13, 41 youth and chaperones travelled to Andrews, SC to assist in the recovery process. The organization that we worked with and heads up the recovery process is ALL HANDS VOLUNTEERS. The group consist of several young adults who currently live at the housing community and supervise all job sites.
Our group was tasked with splitting into different groups and working on several different homes as well as the center where we were housed. The flood waters had risen so high that entire homes needed to be completely gutted. Several of the homes where we worked were in the rebuilding stage. We worked primarily on drywall with an exception of one of the homes; a trench was dug to divert water from the home. The last day that group worked to complete the trench into a beautiful rain garden. The work that was done at the center, where we were, housed, was making rooms so that future groups would have more places to stay. This consisted of clearing out old floor tiles, building walls, hanging drywall, and painting.
While the work was rewarding, the most rewarding aspect of the mission trip was to watch the young people come together from different parishes. By the third day of the trip, there were no more parish lines, but a solidified group coming together to do something bigger than themselves. As always with mission trips, the hope is that the young people come closer to Christ, come home to appreciate their families even more, and have a desire to participate in making their homes and communities a better place.