It really hit me as I watched beds and sofas getting dumped into garbage trucks. As they were being lifted, my initial thought was 'they're only material things.' Once they were dropped into the truck, that's when I realized that those material things represented people's life savings, their sense of home and security.
As a resident of North Carolina, I felt the need to help with the Hurricane Florence clean up. When Dale Smith from Kohler Power Systems sent out a notice about the Kohler opportunity to spend time volunteering with Operation Blessing, I saw that as my chance to have an immediate impact. (That’s me on the far right in the photo above.)
It was devastating when I arrived in the Lumberton, North Carolina, area. It's one thing to see aerial views of the damage online and on TV. It's a whole different world when you're standing on the street in the middle of it. I was expecting to see water damage and fallen trees, but so many homes were demolished—windows blown out, nothing left.
Still, people were hopeful. Many had been through Hurricane Matthew in 2016, had rebuilt before and knew they could do it again. We got right to work, cutting up water-damaged drywall, pulling up flooring and cleaning up trash. Many of the people we helped were disabled, some of them bedridden. Without Operation Blessing, no one would be helping those people clean up after the storm.
It's great to be part of a company committed to disaster relief. The showering trailer is a great start. Working in tough conditions gave me a greater appreciation for a shower after a long day of physical work. We dealt with dirt, all kinds of debris, fire ants, mosquitoes, and more. A clean shower at the end of the day helped us prepare to wake up and do it all again.
Eryon Ford, Senior Sales Executive