Today was our first day of service in the Panhandle. My SSP friends and I are helping rebuild homes that were damaged by hurricane Michael last October. The category five hurricane took place eight months ago and there is still a lot of work to be done.

This morning when we got to the worksite we learned how to use power tools, cut drywall, and mud walls. After a quick tutorial on how to do all of these things, we got to work. I spent the day mudding walls in the bedrooms and closets as well as hanging drywall. While working on repairs the homeowner, Mr. Claude, came to check in. When the hurricane hit, he along with 11 others hunkered down in his house. The 160 mile per hour winds took the roof right off and caused significant damage to both the interior and exterior of his home. Mr. Claude and his family currently live in an RV that was donated by a local church.

Mackenzie, the work supervisor, said that she has never met a more hardworking family. They have been working on their home everyday until 1 am since the rebuild started. Their consistent drive motivates me to work hard and give my best effort while repairing their house. Mr. Claude and his wife were both very thankful for our help. Meeting the people who we are helping makes the job much more personal and meaningful. I am inspired by Mr. Claude, as well as many of the other residents, who have stepped up rebuild their homes and communities that were devastated by the storm. 

– Delaney Brooks