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Traveling for a cause

My very good friend Caitlin is a traveling fiend. She travels for pleasure, for business, and most unique, for others... She has ventured to India, West Virginia, and other far-flung locales in order to do nothing more than be of service to others. Caitlin is now in Biloxi rebuilding homes that were devastated by Katrina.

She relayed this story today.

I have been here now 5 days and they have all been amazing - for various reasons. The second half of "our" group arrived yesterday and they are a great group of guys - again, mostly retired military men - and they are hysterical. The work I have done up to now includes installing new windows, "mucking" a bathroom (taking everything out til you reach the beams), putting tar paper down on another roof. Let's just say my hammering skills are improving daily (as well as my arm muscles). The homeowners continue to be so thankful and wonderful-- great, great people. I heard a story yesterday that so speaks to people's desperation here as well as hope! Apparently, an elderly couple (in their 70s) hadn't heard from anyone regarding requests for help and had apparently made a suicide pact- to be done the following day. Well, later that day a bunch of volunteers knocked on their door and asked if they needed any help. The couple completely broke down explaining how they had finally given up and decided to take their lives the next day. They were absolutely thrilled and all the volunteers went to work immediately! Later that same day, the wife asked the volunteer leader how they ended up at their house and the leader showed a "need assistance" form stating the request and address. And guess what? The address was for the house next door! So needless to say, everyone here needs help and when they receive it, they are beyond grateful in so many different ways.

Nothing like taking travel to a whole new level.

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