Q: Hi Amy, thanks for sharing with us. Can you tell us where have you been doing recovery work?
Amy: I have been going to Bonita and helping to clean up some 55+ communities. Specifically I have been to the Citrus Park Community and the Imperial Bonita Estates.
Q: What's it like there in those communities?
It is hard to process what it is like. It is hard to imagine while driving around Fort Myers/Estero that a short 10 minute drive south has such sadness and destruction. The amount of trash (pieces of houses, pieces of trees, road signs, furniture, etc.), the smell and the piles of already collected and cleaned items is overwhelming at times.
Q: What needs are you seeing?
The greatest needs are moving large pieces of debris (both yard and house) to piles along the roads. The more people that come out and help the more we can serve and provide. Many of the residents have not yet returned because they cannot move items or clean items to even get into their homes.
Q: What sorts of things have you and the team been doing to help meet those needs?
I have been moving furniture, clearing debris, talking with the people who live in the community, and I have even had the opportunity to pray with them!
Q: What's one thing you would want people to know about?
You are needed! Many times I don't do something because I have the idea in my head that there are plenty of people who will show up to volunteer, so it won't make a difference if I am there or not. That is absolutely not true! Those communities need as many people to help as possible. They need to come in contact with people who are there representing and being the Church. They need to be prayed with, listened to, and cared for. The more people representing Christ by volunteering, the more He is glorified!
Q: What's been the reaction of the community to the volunteers?
Every person who walks by or drives by (in their golf cart) stops and talks with us or thanks us. They are so grateful every time they see one of the volunteers.
Q: How can we pray for these folks in our community who are experiencing such hurt?
That people see Jesus in it. That they don't give up, that they don't feel complete despair, that they don't think they are all alone in the recovery - but that they realize that we the Church are here for them, and most importantly that Jesus loves and cares for them.