As a volunteer driven nonprofit, COVID-19 certainly impacted our operation, but we're proud to report that in spite of the pandemic, 52 families were restored to their completely rebuilt home in Craven and Pamlico Counties last year. And, yes, we're still finding families who have not experienced the full measure of recovery especially in Pamlico County. As a result, you'll certainly find us focusing on Pamlico County this year.
You've probably heard nonprofits say that it's all about partnerships in our world. Well this is certainly true in eastern North Carolina. Disaster ReBuilders has a strong veteran influence so it's easy to imagine that Purple Heart Homes is one our partnerships that we enjoy the most. It's so easy to support those veterans who have given so much for us.
Yes, that's correct--we've just passed the second anniversary of Hurricane Florence storming through North Carolina with its tropical deluge. And sadly I must report that there are still hundreds who have not experienced the full measure of recovery. Yes, you can see progress for most: their home is at least partially restored. The roof no longer leaks but they ran out of funds before the interior rebuild was complete.
Of course, we depend on you make our miracle happen and finish their home. With COVID-19 restrictions to insure the safety of you and our homeowners, you can volunteer and make these construction projects affordable. And, yes, we very much need your financial support.
But do come!
Just like the rest of the US and the world, COVID-19 has delivered a big wallop! As a volunteer driven organization primarily dependent on volunteers like you traveling to spend a week rebuilding, our numbers went quickly to zero!
With stepped-up and generous financial support from those like you reading this report, we've been able to maintain our construction program. We've adjusted to a program based on staff and subcontractor labor. More about that in a moment.
And, yes, we're approaching the two-year mark on Hurricane Florence. And, yes, the community is largely recovered. But we know all too well that those we serve are hit the hardest and are the last to recover. So the need is still there. Yes, the need is different--no more fully mucked out homes. Rather we're seeing partially completes or contractor efforts gone badly wrong. And just two months ago, we removed a blue tarp installed right after Florence. Needless to say it was leaking.
The really good news is that we've restored 28 families to their fully rebuilt home. And, yes, that home is in much better shape than before the storm!
Now for an exciting announcement--with an abundance of caution and operational restrictions, we're ready for you to return. We've established processes and procedures which will protect you and those we serve. As you know, many of our homeowners are high risk so must exercise extreme care. But we've begun accepting small volunteer groups (see link below).
So come on down! We need to make up lost time!
There are signs of new life everywhere in New Bern and surrounding communities--trees are budding and daffodils are blooming. But not every family feels like celebrating. Yes, spring means more rain and that blue tarp is now 18 months old and starting to have serious leaks.
Are you hearing the Hurricane Florence recovery is complete? Well not so fast--it's a documented fact: those we serve are hit the hardest and take the longest to recover because of lack of resources. True, most are living in their home now but the rebuild is only partially complete and, so many times, we find the roof is still leaking and damaging the work already completed.
Or the rebuild wasn't done properly and the smell of mold is overwhelming when you walk into the house.
OK, 'nuff said. We need your support to carry on the recover! And we need you to tell your friends. We need you to volunteer and make a financial contribution one more time.
First, a deeply heartfelt thank you to all of those who supported our Giving Tuesday campaign. In partnership, we are making a difference for so many with literally no other alternative.
And, we’re pleased to report since our last report to you, we’ve moved six families back into their restored homes and expect to complete three more before Christmas!
But while we’re on the subject of Christmas, December is a particularly challenging time of the year for me as I have haunting visions of those families trying to celebrate Christmas in a partially rebuilt or mucked out home. Of course that vision is mostly about the children. While we celebrate the 22 homes we’ve completed this year, we absolutely must acknowledge those New Bern families facing their second Christmas in a damaged home. But with your help, we’ll insure that another 25 families will move into their fully restored homes in 2020.
While those we serve certainly lag the recovery of the area, we are observing positive signs of a more complete recovery. We’re seeing fewer homes that have been untouched since the hurricane. Many now have had some repairs completed but have run out of funds to complete the project and are living in compromised conditions. Of course we commit to finishing the restoration, restoring the home to where it was before the storm—safe and secure.
Merry Christmas! And we have a vision of 2020 with you supporting us and the recovery of New Bern!
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