Volunteers petering out with months of Harvey recovery ahead

- More than a month has passed since the Harvey driven floods and thousands of good folks are still reeling and nowhere near returning to homes wrecked by water and infected with mold.

"You see your personal things destroyed and slime and stink and muck and snakes in the house and rats from places God knows where. It's overwhelming. It's very overwhelming," said Ida Colston, whose house near Wayside was flooded.

This week a sweet dose of relief came to Ida's door in the form of volunteers from both here in Houston and across the country. In no time they were ripping out the ruined, clearing out the muck.

"For them to come out and volunteer, free of charge, that's a miracle to me," said Colston.

Call it compassion fueled rescue that's at risk of running out of steam. After an initial onslaught of neighborly outreach, the number of volunteers willing to roll-up their sleeves and offer their sweat has fallen dramatically.

"Will those needing help have a semblance of normal from before the storm? With the volunteers petering off, they won't," said Cameron Waldner who leads Volunteer Houston.

Waldner tells those tempted to remain on the sidelines that the collective need is critical and will remain so for months and even years to come.

"Be that someone. Let's be someone who gets out and serves, not that just thinks about serving," urges Waldner.

The urgency is genuine and justified because the longer flooded homes sit without "crisis clean-up" the less likely they'll ever be restored to livability.

Volunteer Patrick Leslie says a surplus or shortage of helping of hands could prove the difference maker.

"Nobody at the end of the day wants to be able to say, I did nothing to help anybody that was impacted by Harvey," said Leslie who works with Disaster Aid USA.

"Now we are saying it's not even a marathon, it's a triathlon. It's a full iron man triathlon," added Waldner.

Volunteer Houston has opened a volunteer reception center at 4900 Providence.

For information on how you and your group can get involved check out http://volunteerhouston.org/
 

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