After two long weeks of doing service work with MDS we headed to Ellijay, Georgia. Over the past two weeks we worked hard every day getting up at 6 am and eating breakfast at 7 then heading to the work site. We had a strict schedule which we had to stick to every day and the long-term leaders helped to make sure we did the job correctly.
During the 2 weeks of working we were able to interact with people and learn so much about the devastation that the hurricane left. We went to the dedication of two homes, they were both homes that belonged to single moms. They were both appreciative of the work that MDS did to help them and their family. It was touching and heartwarming to see how excited they were to finally have a home after 2 and a half years of living in a shed or with family members.
We also had the chance to meet with many different people who spoke about their experience with the hurricane and how they were affected by it. Many people mentioned religion being a key part in them being able to get by and being able to get help. The speakers also mentioned how they didn’t have any power or electricity for over 40 days meaning they weren’t even able to call for help after the storm. There were people stuck in their houses but nobody knew, being that they couldn’t call anyone for help.
Living in tight proximity from one another in the church was difficult. However, we learned to compromise and communicate about things we were unsure of wanted done. We were able to grow as a group and become a lot closer, learning our differences and jokes. Although there were moments when we felt sad or homesick, we were able to talk to each other about that or go to one of our leaders and communicate with them how we felt.
After volunteering with MDS and getting to know the leaders and how passionate they are about the work that they do, it made me realize that it is a great program that has helped so many people. These people that have been helped are so grateful for the work that MDS does and I am proud to say that I was a part of MDS even if it was only for two weeks. I am also happy to say that I helped to finish some of those homes and make some families happy. I am thankful to have had the opportunity of coming on this trip which has made me learn the importance of hard work and dedication.
Written by: Karen Rodriguez