While it has been months since Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee took their devastating toll on Eastern Pennsylvania, Lutheran Disaster Response (LDR) is still helping those who are struggling to recover. A generous grant of $30,000 from the Evangelical Church in America is helping LDR, a service of Liberty Lutheran, continue their long term disaster recovery efforts in Eastern Pennsylvania.
“There are still a lot of people with significant unmet needs,” said Julia Menzo, Volunteer Engagement and LDR Co-Coordinator for Eastern Pennsylvania. “They feel like they’ve been forgotten.”
After the storms hit late last summer, LDR began organizing teams of volunteers to clean and restore the homes of people like Evelyn Snyder, who has lived in her home in Upper Black Eddy since 1975, and never experienced flooding before.
“I didn’t know what to do,” Evelyn said. “My son and grandson came over to help, but we didn’t know where to start; all we did was watch the water come in. I was devastated.” Evelyn’s fully-furnished basement was destroyed.
“It put me in such a depression,” she said. “Almost 75 percent of what I had down there I had to throw away. There are a few things that I hope I can save. I can’t replace them because they were my mother’s.”
Evelyn found out about LDR from a concerned neighbor. “I never knew an organization like that existed,” she said. “They were my lifesavers.”
Volunteers tore up carpet, took down wall paneling, and disposed of everything that was ruined. “I don’t know what I would have done without them,” Evelyn said. “I’ve kept in touch with them ever since.”
The grant will allow LDR to continue to work with Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties, and 10 counties in Northeast Pennsylvania to facilitate long term recovery. “People are always very surprised, and are so thankful. They didn’t know that this kind of help was available,” said Julia. “I feel really good about the work that we are doing.”