You can see that I brought back more than ideas from our staff debrief in Rome, Georgia. It was a great time to discuss and evaluate what we learned during our response to Hurricanes Florence (the Carolinas) and Michael (Florida). The versatility of the Bobcat Mini came in very handy in Panama City, Florida, during the many months we were there, and it was decided that our Depot in Dallas would benefit from having one on hand. It just followed me all the way home.
515 RUF Students pre-build 18 Sheds of Hope
During their free time at Summer Conference 515 RUF students pre-built 18 Sheds of Hope and because they worked so fast we had to go out and get more material to start another 6 sheds. The rest of the parts to complete these 6 sheds have now been built by Lake Oconee Presbyterian Church in Georgia and will soon make the journey to Panama City for set-up.
RUF Summer Conference (SuCo) got off to a great start with all available time slots filled for the week. 210 students from many different campuses signed up and worked hard at the Sheds of Hope Pre-build.
This was the first time to introduce Sheds of Hope during the three weeks of SuCo. The first week was a tremendous success, and we exceeded our goal. Six-and-a-half sheds were pre-built, and one was set up at a home. This SuCo project was inspired by the enthusiastic work of staff and students from the University of Kentucky (UK) RUF when I worked with them in Mullins, SC during a mission trip on their New Year break.
Advance Teams came in to help me get all the material pre-cut and prepared for this three week event. Three men from Evergreen Presbyterian Church in Tennessee and two from Pinewood Presbyterian Church in Florida worked alongside me, pre-cutting the lumber and plywood for the eighteen sheds we plan to build.
Disasters create opportunities for us to help our neighbors, and the disasters of 2018 have been doing just that. Hurricane Florence flooded the Carolinas, and we have seen people come from all over the states to help. Nichols, one of several little towns flooded for the second time in two years, was helped by the outreach efforts of Mullins Presbyterian Church, who opened up their hearts and doors to the many volunteers who came to help through MNA Disaster Response efforts.
Within weeks, Hurricane Michael left the Florida gulf coast near Panama City devastated. Its beautiful trees were stripped and toppled, bringing down countless fences and power lines. Over the past three months, work has been focused on debris removal and helping church members with home repair and Sheds of Hope. Opportunities are open to help in this effort as we move into 2019. A long term staging area has now been established at First Presbyterian Church to help in and around the area.
During my last trip to Mullins, South Carolina, while I was working with RUF students from the University of Kentucky, an exciting suggestion was made. Why not build Sheds of Hope at their Summer Conference? It is held in May at Panama City Beach, just 20 miles from our new staging area. Providentially, our temporary disaster response staging area in Florida has been generously hosted by Laguna Beach Christian Retreat, which is home to the RUF Summer Conference each year.
Plans are moving forward! During the RUF Summer Conference, we hope to build 18 Sheds of Hope with students from all over the country as they donate time from their vacation to help the people of Panama City. (They might even catch a glimpse of the Wee Helper in the process!)
With a goal of building 18 Sheds of Hope during the May Summer Conference, we will need your help! To give toward the cost of building these Sheds of Hope for Panama City this May, you can donate online to the MNA DR Sheds of Hope Ministry Fund This link takes you directly to the account that covers shed materials and supplies. Cost to build a Shed of Hope for a family is $1,100 (gifts are tax-deductible).
Meet me in Panama City during December 8–21 to help set-up Sheds of Hope for families. MNA Disaster Response is getting requests for Sheds of Hope from all three of our PCA churches in the Panama City area.
- Covenant Presbyterian Church — request for 6 more
- First Presbyterian Church — request for 4 more
- Panama City Korean Church — request for 18 more
We have 22 sheds pre-built and ready for set-up between Saturday, December 8th and Friday, December 21st. So far, we have set-up 8 pre-built Sheds of Hope in the area, but are in need of individuals who can come specifically to help set-up another 22 before Christmas. If you can join me with this blitz-build during December 8–21, you would be very welcome. No tools or skills required, just a willingness to serve and help these families.
It takes less than 3 hours to LEARN how to set-up a Shed of Hope.
After setting up their first one, a small group of 6 to 8 people can set-up about 2–3 Sheds of Hope in a day depending on location.
If you know someone who might be able to help — send them a link to this blog so that they can come and help us. Click here to sign-up with MNA if you can come help. State that you want to work on Sheds of Hope Builds. PLEASE NOTE: ALL VOLUNTEERS MUST REGISTER AND BE SCHEDULED THROUGH MNA DISASTER RESPONSE.
Think what it would mean to these families if we could set-up all 22 sheds we have pre-built by Christmas.
Overnight housing is available for those coming to help build sheds.
This truck is loaded with all the materials for a Sheds of Hope storage shed. While it’s not an actual Shed-in-a-Truck (an idea we tested a couple of years ago*), it is everything needed for a Shed of Hope. A team from Lookout Mountain Presbyterian Church will join me to pre-build this shed at the Rome, Georgia Disaster Response Warehouse. The church provided the materials, and the members will learn how a shed is built and made ready for transportation to a disaster site. It is exciting to see more and more churches getting trained and involved!
What sort of help do we need for Sheds of Hope?
- to provide the materials for a Shed of Hope click here
- pre-build a Shed of Hope at your church. (or schedule a training)
Sheds of Hope Trivia question: Whatever happened to the Shed-in-a-Truck?
Answer: Only a few were ever built. They proved to be very time consuming at the build site. They may have a role to play in the future, if circumstances are right. Example: getting them into tight places — toting half panels through a small opening is much lighter and easier to handle than its full-sized cousins.
This video was produced by Curt Moore who is our MNA ShortTerm Specialist. He helped build the first four sheds in Panama City.
All our disaster sites need volunteers!
Volunteer Staging Sites have been set up in Florida at Panama City, and at Wilmington, NC and Mullins, SC. If you would like to volunteer please click here to register. For more information about serving click here. For a FAQ about volunteering please click here.
PLEASE NOTE: ALL VOLUNTEERS MUST REGISTER AND BE SCHEDULED THROUGH MNA DISASTER RESPONSE. If you have any questions you may contact Sherry Lanier at firstname.lastname@example.org.