November 26, 2012

The Yellow Vests

I need to write about my weekend but I'm not sure where to start.  I guess it started when I saw this video posted on facebook by a friend in my ward.  Perhaps you've seen it.

When an opportunity arose to go with a large group of volunteers from our stake to be a part of this my heart was willing.  When I heard more details about the raw sewage in basements my flesh was weak, but I struggled on the fence wishing I were braver.  I encouraged my teenagers to get involved and at the same time I encouraged myself.  My husband was on board and I told myself that I'd stay home with the children while he represented us with my teenagers.  Then it became impossible for him to go due to a work conflict.  He is on call this month and would have to go in each morning over the Thanksgiving break.  We would need at least one of our teens to stay home with the younger girls while he went in, but the door was still open for me.  Then I saw an email asking for food helpers to volunteer.  All those volunteers would need to eat and they needed kitchen help.  I'm a kitchen helper! My youngest son has a willing heart and is a good worker.  I signed us both up.  I'm so glad I did.  Part of me did wish that I'd been a work crew person working directly with home owners.  Dealing directly with the storm victims was a humbling and wonderful part.  Another part of me was glad I hadn't signed up for that kind of duty when we showed up and smelled the sulphuric backed up sewage smell in the air.  I can't imagine what those poor people must feel like.  It could have been us unflooding our basement instead of them.  Mother nature makes that decision.

So we provided meals for the volunteers and for anyone else passing by who seemed to need food.  We talked to police officers and locals walking by, we walked down to the ocean to see the distruction, we looked into faces and tried to think of encouraging things to say.  One group of boys kept hanging around wanting food and they were told by the missionaries to put on yellow vests with us and collect trash in the streets for 30 minutes to earn a lunch.  We would have just given it to them, but perhaps the local missionaries knew them.  They were the cutest kids and were so proud of the 5 bags of trash they collected that they posed for photos.  Construction workers came by and took food, some polite, some not.  Overall it was a great experience that I would jump to do again.  My husband may go up next weekend if he can work out his work schedule.  I feel different upon my return.  More patient, more thankful, more loving.  However temporary this shot in the arm is I will take it.  I can't think of a better was to spend our Thanksgiving weekend than by showing thanks through giving.  The day after traditions will have to wait until next week.

These were the cute local trash collectors

My Little Boy and half a house

These dingy mini flags were in all the yards

A collection of shovels

Beach front property is no longer a priority for me

My boy and me

He was such a solid worker.  Never complained once.

1 comment:

Laurel C. said...

This is really wonderful, Kelly. Oftentimes we need reminders like these to make us see with real eyes what we've been given and how blessed we are. God is certainly in control.