Archive for July 12th, 2006

Wednesday Night Cookout


In lieu of our success at the 4th of July cookout, we’ve decided (and been given permission) to start a regular, Wednesday night event on that same lot. It’ll be a free dinner Wednesday sort of thing, so people can just regularly show up, week in, week out. We’re hoping that it will catch on, and we can feed several hundred people a week. We’re brainstorming ideas on how to get them to stay, hang out and talk, since at the event on the 4th, most people just took their food to go.

We’re also planning on including the teams that come down each week to gut houses–it’ll be a regular event for them, too. We’ll load up all of our stuff–including dinner–and if they want to eat, they’ll have to follow us over there! 😉 In reality, I think most teams would be really excited to participate in such an event, considering a regular disappointment I’ve heard (even from my own team when we came down in January) is that you don’t get much opportunity to talk with the people who live here.

My favorite moment of the 4th of July cookout is when the very first man we met in the FEMA trailer park a few days earlier came over to get some food and, remarkably, I remembered his name was John. You could tell it meant a lot to him that I remembered. I guess because he was a person to me and not a project. I sat down and talked to him a bit, and learned that he has remarkable credit because, after his divorce, he just payed off all the bills his wife left him. He always thought he had bad credit, so he never looked into owning real estate, until his daughter ran his credit and it was almost 800! So he’s buying a house in Texas where he can live in one part, and rent out the other three sections and live off their rent payments!

Anyways, I think recognizing people and getting to know them is going to be awesome. A lot of these people were probably lower middle class before the storm, so it has to be hard suddenly finding yourself needing handouts from people. Hopefully making effort get them to talk, and get to know them will make them feel valuable, and not like this is just a “how many people can we feed” sort of a thing.

Wish us luck!

2 comments July 12th, 2006


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