Outstanding Response to Calls for Relief Enables Flood Victims to Receive Extra Help
While cleanup and restoration will continue in the months and even years ahead, union carpenters affected by Hurricane Harvey are getting the support they need to get their lives back together, thanks to an incredible amount of support from across North America.
The Central South Carpenters Regional Council Disaster Relief Fund identified more than 2300 union members (1398 carpenters and 925 millwrights) from Texas and Louisiana who live in the areas impacted by this historic storm. Affected members are being encouraged to leverage the Relief Fund for up to $1000 per member. At the Houston Carpenters & Millwrights Training Center, qualifying members can also receive free sheetrock and other supplies to help rebuild.
Fellow Council, Southern District and UBC members, industry partners, and the public in general have all responded with thousands of dollars in donations, literally tons of supplies, and volunteer manpower.
The response to the call for help is so outstanding, that the deadline for applying for aid has been extended to November 30. Members who already received aid can apply to get a second round of assistance from the Fund if needed. Members who have yet to request assistance are urged to do so. For more information, go to the online Harvey Relief Resource Center.
Help for our brothers and sisters came swiftly from across the country in the days immediately following Harvey’s landfall. Volunteers and more donations continue to arrive, but here’s just a sampling of some of the support already received and deployed:
...Ariat International, a California-based company that makes premium performance footwear, apparel and accessories for outdoor activities, delivered more than $50,000 worth of cash and clothing to the Relief Fund. Ariat came to know the Central South Carpenters through the Jared Allen Homes for Wounded Warriors Foundation when the carpenters built a home for a wounded naval vet in Forney, Texas. Upon learning of the carpenters’ plight, the company sent 200 pair of Conquest rubber boots and 200+ Rebar crew shirts, valued at $45,000, plus a $10,000 cash donation.
...Donations also arrived from other Southern District Regional Councils, several regional councils from each of the UBC’s other four districts, and CSCRC Locals.
...Scaffold students from Local 1098 in Baton Rouge – an area hit hard by flooding a year ago – partnered with Local 1846 in New Orleans and loaded a truck full of supplies that were driven to Houston.
...The Arkansas Oklahoma Carpenters Apprenticeship Training Program coordinated a donation drive that also filled trucks full of supplies needed by their brothers and sisters. Among their donations was a pallet of supplies from Carpenters Local 434 in Chicago and another from Worth Township, Illinois.
“The outpouring of support – from the smallest of carpenter locals to the largest of organizations – as well as thousands of individual donations from members, family, friends and industry colleagues has truly humbled us,” said Central South Executive Secretary-Treasurer, Jason Engels. “We are using every bit of this support to directly help our members get on their feet as quickly as possible.”
To date, the Relief Fund received 238 applications and issued over $145,000 in relief funds. Nearly all of the applications were received through the CSCRC website, centralsouthcarpenters.org.
Requests for help centered around repairing or replacing basic living necessities such as home, car, and personal property, for evacuation expenses, and for a many, a combination of all of these.
Another wrinkle to address was getting several members back home from the Carpenters International Training Center (ITC) in Las Vegas during and immediately following the storm. The members were participating in the Journeyman Leadership training during that time, and were stranded because of airport closures in Texas. The Relief Fund came to the aid of these members by not only helping them find alternative means to get back to their families, but to also reimburse them for time lost on the jobsite because of their travel delays.
A special thanks also is extended to the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and the ITC for providing food and lodging for the stranded members for several days while logistics of getting them home was coordinated.
Stories are surfacing about the extended affect Hurricane Harvey is having on our brothers and sisters:
“Due to the damage sustained to my mobile home, we have to buy a new mobile home. All of my furniture and walls already have mold on them. The pump and motor to my water well also flooded. We are currently staying in a motel until we can start the process of purchasing a new home.” – Summer H.
“My family is currently staying at a shelter since there is mold growing in the walls and the sewer water that came up through the drains is contributing to that. My concern is transportation to and from work since I know the job I was assigned to in Livingston is still going and I need the income more than ever. I do not want to be let go or dismissed due to this event that has occurred in my family's life.” –Elipidio V.
“My home flooded. My bedroom carpet has mold and the walls. My living room has floor damage and wall mold as well. Our upstairs ceiling has water damage as well. We need help to repair. “ –Richard P.
“We are out of our home and our rental deposit was a hard financial hit. I'm not sure if we will be able to rebuild our house.” –Allen S.
“This money will be used for food, gas and supplies to rebuild my home.” –John J.
“I’d use the money for food, clothes, cleaning supplies and materials needed to rebuild the house, and tools that got ruined due to being under water for four days that I need so that I can properly do my job. I lost almost everything. Anything will help me out at in this time of needing help.” –Aaron S.
If you know of someone who is in need and who has not completed an application yet, please direct them to our online Harvey Relief Resource Center.
Donations to the CSCRC Relief Fund can be mailed to: CSCRC Relief Fund, 2850 Massachusetts Avenue, Metairie, LA 70003.