36,000 Hours Donated

Friday, August 22nd, 2014 @ 2:45PM

Last year, in my work at Reicher, I prepared a special Mass of Thanksgiving followed by a brunch in honor of those individuals who supported the school throughout the year. We were blessed to have Msgr. Michael Sis, later appointed Bishop of San Angelo, join us and offer the Mass. We also happened to be celebrating the feast day of a martyr. In his homily Bishop Sis beautifully explained what it means to be Christian, and in doing so he thanked those who had sacrificed so much to support the school and the Church. He changed gears ever so slightly as he picked up the story of the martyr, who was arrested and murdered for living her faith. Then Bishop Sis asked a question I will never forget, “If you were arrested today for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?”

Throughout the Summer 2014 Volunteer Campaign at West Long Term Recovery, hundreds of volunteers have joined the Recovery Effort. From May 31 to date 36,000 hours have been donated to the West Community. These individuals come exclusively from churches. They have spent personal funds to travel to West. Many of these groups have brought materials or donations with them. They have stayed in humble accommodations, often times sleeping on the floor at St. Joe’s, First UMC, or First Baptist. They’ve showered in a shower trailer. They’ve exhausted themselves in the Texas heat, in order to reach out to their brothers and sisters in need. The volunteers could have easily said we don’t know how to do construction, or we don’t have time to help. The group referring to themselves as “The Old Geezers” from UMC Garland, could have said we’re too old, or it’s too hot for us to help. The jr. high students from St. Mary’s Temple, who have now made four trips to West, could have said we’re not old enough to contribute meaningfully.  The group from Iowa, joining us this week for the second time, could have said Texas is too far, let someone else do it. No excuses were made. I assure you ample evidence exists to convict these volunteers. They are living proof of their faith. Please consider joining us as we work together to rebuild West. Contact Mikayla at mikaylak@westltr.org to find out how you or your organization can help.

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