Today is Tuesday–the second day of work for us. The gnats and mosquitoes are out in full force and I’m sure that each of my teammates and I have dozens of bites all over. As for today, we went back to the same site to work on a home in Pass Christian, MS. I’m sure you would appreciate a little history on the home owners so here it is: they are a young couple (24 years old) with three children who purchased their home after the storm. The male is currently out of work which I’m sure can be attributed to the current economic crisis. However, yesterday and today, my group members and I looked around the neighborhood in which the homeowners lived and realized that it was in great shape for a place that had been hit by one of the deadliest and costliest natural disasters in US history. I’m sure the disaster we witnessed in New Orleans’ 9th ward was on our mind when we began to wonder why this homeowner was being helped before the countless number of those who have absolutely nothing.

To our appreciation, the volunteer coordinator of the organization clarified things for us when he told us that Camp Coast Care has lost some of its funding and they now have to help people who can afford to purchase the necessary materials (nails, insulation, drywall, flooring, cabinetry, etc.) In previous years, CCC provided these materials but loss of funds has made it so that they can’t do that. Further, the volunteer coordinator told us that just because the middle-class people have a little money, that doesn’t mean that they couldn’t use a little help. While this homeowner could afford certain materials, he certainly wouldn’t be able to afford the labor.

After our conversation about what qualifies homeowners to get assistance from CCC, I am assured that it is a system that works. Of course I would like to help the neediest person but the truth is that while some people aren’t the neediest, they are needy nonetheless and this is the case with the homeowner–our client. One thing that Mike (the volunteer coordinator) left us with that stuck to me is that it doesn’t matter how much we do while we’re down here or even whether or not people show their gratitude…we’re here. Better yet, we want to be here on our Spring Break. That’s all that matters.