These were Cathy's words at the end of our visit to St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana. She pointed out to me that, before our journey this week, she was prone to believe that the people of the Gulf Coast should have done more to help themselves. What a difference a week makes.
After completing the tasks of our work day (painting, laying baseboard, caulking), we took time to visit with the residents of St. Bernard Parish and the staff of St. Bernard Project. They opened their hearts and homes to us as they explained their plight.
St. Bernard Parish residents are hard-working homeowners. They spent their adult lives working to pay the mortgage and the insurance - just like most of us. Yet when the flood waters washed away their homes and everything they owned, the insurance did not cover the damage. If they were fortunate enough to receive the Road Home money from the government, it paid the back-payments on the mortgage. No money was left over to rebuild the home.
These residents never had to ask for help before. They all have one thing in common - they are thankful for St. Bernard Project and for all the volunteers who come from around the country to rebuild.
Once you travel to St. Bernard Parish and visit with the kind, generous homeowners there, you'll never be the same. Cathy is planning a return visit with her teenage daughter.