Barb loves to learn new skills as a volunteer. Her existing skills, particularly painting, come in handy, too. A member of the Lutheran Church of the Holy Spirit in Emmaus, PA, Barb volunteered several days this past May along with others from her congregation. Lutheran Disaster Response – Eastern PA (LDR-EPa) has led a long-term recovery effort in Eastwick since Tropical Storm Isaias devastated many homes in the neighborhood.

“My Dad taught me to paint,” Barb shares. She takes great care in painting. “I have painted in my own home, so when I go on a volunteer trip,” Barb continues, “I try to learn new skills, but I really enjoy the painting. I paint just as I would in my own home. I’m very proud of my job. I want the homeowners to know that I’ve done my best effort.”

Volunteers Play Vital Role in Long-term recovery projects

Long-term recovery projects last for several months or years. Volunteers play a vital role in these efforts after a natural disaster. Whether by learning new skills or bringing existing skills with them, such as carpentry or construction, the volunteers bring hope and love to neighborhoods in need as they help restore the community.

The community appreciates each and every volunteer.

“What you have given, they give right back,” Barb shares, reflecting on her experience with survivors from the Eastwick community. “These homeowners are so gracious. They come and check on us. We show them our progress, and they’re thrilled,” Barb says, “and when we walk on the street they all say ‘hello’ to us and ‘how are you?’”

Since August 2020, Julia Menzo, Director of Community Outreach for Lutheran Congregational Services, a ministry of Liberty Lutheran, and Vice President of the Pennsylvania Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD), has led volunteer service days in Eastwick.