Thursday, August 1st, 2013 @ 2:07PM


Several weeks ago, I asked the question “What does a successful recovery look like?”  The answer addressed rebuilding not only the structural features of our community, but also the spirit of West.  Our efforts must continue to focus on both.  The question this week is, “Where are you in your recovery?”

Experts have been telling us for years that those who write their goals accomplish significantly more than those who don’t.  If you have a trip to take or a mountain to climb, you have a map or some kind of plan.  An entrepreneur increases his or her odds of success by writing a business plan.  Teachers keep order and steady class progress through lesson plans.  Disaster survivors rebuild their lives with a recovery plan.  As I’ve mentioned on more than one occasion, you do not have to tackle this alone.  Your caseworker is trained and skilled in helping you formulate and implement a recovery plan.  But, simply having a plan isn’t enough.  It needs to be written down.  You also have to make a commitment to your plan, revisiting it often, like a map, to make sure you’re on the right road.  Then, and this may be the most difficult component, you have to have someone keep you accountable to your plan.  This person can be your pastor, friend, relative, counselor, co-worker, caseworker or anyone who has your best interest at heart, or shared goals.  Our Case Management team is working hard to contact all affected households, assessing needs and formulating recovery plans.  If you have questions, call Nikki Leaverton, our Case Management Supervisor at 817-995-2147.  She is ready to help you.

Help is also available downtown at 222 N Main St.  I attended last Thursday evening’s group session and I’m so glad I did!  Dr. Ellor, Flor and Maggie imparted such valuable information and guided our small group through some challenging problems.  I can honestly say we all left feeling a little lighter and more empowered to handle our current situations.  Maggie is starting a Relaxation Training on Tuesdays, beginning Aug 13th from 4:30 – 6 PM.  She also continues to make appointments for crisis counseling.  Call her at 254-640-7401.  The successful Social Skills for 2nd – 5th graders is back!  Classes begin next Tuesday, Aug 6th, for 4 weeks from 2 PM – 4 PM.  At the same time and location, parents can attend a new Love and Logic class.  Sign up or call Ashton for more information at 254-399-6552.  Our Family Support Services Center is open 10 AM – 4 PM M-F.  Call 254-405-9820.

West Best Smart Kids Camp continues at the West Church of Christ from 5:30 – 7 PM Tuesdays for K-4th and Thursdays for 5-12th.  Please make a note that 5th graders have moved to the Thursday session.   Call Kate at 254-479-0729 for more information.

BIG EVENTS ARE PLANNED!  Come meet former NFL players this Saturday, Aug 3rd 9 am – 2 pm at the West Trojans High School Practice Field (West Intermediate School field, on the corner of W. Spring and N. Reagan)!  All West area 1st – 8th graders are eligible.  Compete for prizes and enjoy a picnic lunch provided by Serving God by Serving Others (SGSO) disaster relief organization, and the Prestoncrest Church of Christ Singles Ministries (Dallas).  For more information contact Jamie Allnutt at West Long Term Recovery 254-715-2523 or Gary Cochran 972-741-7142.

This Sunday bring the whole family to the Community Center, and enjoy an extremely helpful Disaster Recovery information session, Dr. Pepper floats and water inflatables sponsored by the Salvation Army from 4-5:30 PM!  Come and get answers about unmet needs, duplication of benefits and find out what long-term recovery really means, and have some family fun, too!

Do you think you’ve suffered hearing loss from the explosion?  Come get a hearing screening on Saturday, September 14th at the Community Center.  We’ll also have the equine therapy horses!  More info in next week’s edition.

If you have a complete resident file, you can call in a work order to requisition the following:  Baby Food, Baby and Adult Diapers, New Clothing (available to residents who lost everything).  Please indicate size and gender, specific needs, etc.  We will do our best to provide you with items you can use.  Bed items, towels, bar soap, HEB Bravo washing powder, new pillows.

We’ve recently heard from residents who were contacted in the days following the explosion by helpful-sounding disaster and restoration companies.  Now, they feel like these companies have taken advantage of them by charging outrageous amounts to clean and store their personal belongings, or adding hefty penalties if they don’t pay…some as high as $50,000!  If you have been treated this way, contact us at 254-826-7550 so we can document these companies and direct you to getting help.

Finally, we had hoped that the best way to distribute bottled water was to allow residents to self-serve at the water trailer.  Thanks to the thieves who have taken advantage of this system, we will be distributing water through the LTRC during normal business hours or by special pick-up arrangements.

Your Long-Term Recovery Center is located at 218 N Main St. next to the Czech American Restaurant.  Hours are 8:30 AM to 5 PM M-F and 9 AM too Noon on Saturday or by Appointment.  Call us at 254-826-7550.  For updated information, please go to www.westltr.org or like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/WestLTR.

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