Sarah Rubinrott- Class of 2019
I have brought back many great memories, new friends, and a new outlook on how we should be concerned with global warming. Unfortunately, Houston will flood again and the work we did may only last a year or so. Here, in Narraganset RI, we also have problems with beach erosion, rising tides, and road way flooding. It’s an issue that effects more than just the south and states who are vulnerable to hurricanes. It is our job to care for our planet and this trip really helped me put it into perspective.
While we were in Houston we visited the Rodeo, walked around down-town, and had some really good food. Even though we did have long work days, we were still able to get out and enjoy what Houston has to offer. It was not the Texas I was imagining at all!
I plan on doing more disaster relief trips in the future that are for more immediate problems. I am a people person so working on houses isn’t as rewarding as helping someone first hand. I think it would be very rewarding to volunteer as a disaster relief nurse after I get my degree and license!
Emily Goldberg- Class of 2020
The culture of Houston, the work we put in and the people we met, made this trip an amazing experience that I would never forget. I was shocked by how much I accomplished during the week. I didn’t realize the impact we had made on this family’s house until we saw before and after pictures and especially when the owner of the house came home and said, “wow, it’s starting to look like a house again.” I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to go on this trip and would never trade it for anything.
Erica Ryan- Class of 2020
Looking back I am so glad that I didn’t let my bed hold me back from going on the trip. Every aspect of the week was amazing. Despite bruises and dusty pants, I had a blast putting up drywall. I got pretty handy with the power tools, the highlight of my work day. When the week was over, I think I can speak for everyone when I say that we were overcome with a sense of pride and accomplishment. On day one it was as if I had X-ray vision because you couldn’t see the bottom half of any of the walls, by the way 95% of all the walls were finished. And once the work day was over the fun continued. Whether it was playing board games in the kitchen after lights out or going to the biggest rodeo in the country, it was a trip filled with laughs and good times.
By the end of the week, there was a lot more reflection on the impact we had made and what more we could do. On Friday night we went to Temple for Shabbat, and it was like nothing I had ever experienced. Growing up in a conservative-reform synagogue I had never gone to a service where the rabbi was playing guitar and the cantor was playing the drums. Somehow it was the most beautiful service I had ever been to.
Although it was a short seven days it will be a trip I remember for the rest of my life.
Emily Leddington- Class of 2020
Yet, there were moments that stood out on this whole trip. We would wake up at 7 am and go to work every day. We put up drywall and cut out outlet strips and at times it was very tedious. But throughout it all, I knew we were working towards something great. It was the last day on the site of the house, and we were finally able to meet the homeowner. She walked into the house and said to all of us, “it’s really starting to look like a home again”. Instantly in that moment, all the hard work had paid off and I knew I was meant to be here. I learned then that whether someone’s involvement is big or small we are a part of the greater good and anything can help. Overall, the seven days that I spent in Houston, Texas was extremely rewarding and eye-opening. I met some fantastic people, who share my religion and also my passion to help others. I was able to test my physical limits by challenging myself with a tasks I had never done before. I was able to see and be a part of a different sense of culture. And, in all I can honestly say that I came back from the trip a whole new person.