Monday, September 21, 2009

Good Stuff in TEC: Texas

Groups helped storm victims rebuild after Ike

Some volunteers, students from a military-style boot camp for first responders, sang “Amazing Grace” as they welcomed a home-owner back into the repaired house.

Another group was greeted regularly with hugs by the homeowner.

“He’d come out, first thing, and he hugged everyone, and nine times out of 10, he’d burst into tears,” Maggie Immler, Galveston relief coordinator for Texas Episcopal Disaster Relief and Development, said. “He called us all his angels.”

Immler has a slew of such stories. She started work in Galveston last fall, fresh from coordinating Hurricane Katrina relief projects. In Galveston, she found similar hurricane damage but a stronger groundswell of support and old-fashioned grit.

“My background is working in New Orleans, where everything took four times longer than it should,” she said, speaking by cell phone as she traveled to Houston for a diocese meeting.

“I haven’t seen the level and depths of hopelessness that we saw in New Orleans. So when I sit back and look objectively at recovery in Galveston, the county and surrounding areas, everything is happening remarkably fast and in a remarkably organized way. That’s so exciting to me because there’s nothing we can’t do when we all work together.”

Episcopal Disaster Relief, part of the long-term recovery collaboration called Galveston County Restore and Rebuild, is headquartered at the William Temple Episcopal Center, 427 Market St., in Galveston.

The rest is here-

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