If you are new to our story, please start in the beginning.
Remember writing those essays in elementary and middle school? For those of you who know John Dawson, you have probably heard John speak of his trips to Katrina and Joplin as “some of the best vacations ever!” He “sold” a trip to Houston in the same manner. Best vacation ever? Sounded interesting… some were envisioning strutting on a soft sand beach…
Or paddling a kayak to a deserted island…..
Well, John’s “vacation” may not have had the warmth of a Carribean beach; but it did warm our hearts to have the opportunity to make a difference in other people’s lives.
So, what do you do on one of John’s “vacations?”
You meet those who are much less fortunate because of the impact of natural disasters in their lives….and who eventually become “new friends.”
You get to work with, and become friends with, like-minded hard-working neighbors and “strangers.”
You get to see the disaster “first hand” and clean it up “by hand.”
You get to replace rotten and termite-eaten studs.
You learn to remove load bearing walls and install new 24’ support beams and ceiling joists.
You learn to remove the sub flooring and replace it with new ¾” plywood.
You learn to remove 2-strand wire and rewire the house with 3 strands.
You learn to totally gut bathrooms and spray for mold.
Our goal on this “vacation” is to leave these homes in better shape with more efficient and effective installation.
Instead of going to a health club on this “vacation,” you get exercise by sheetrocking most of the house.
And if sheet rocking was not enough exercise, there was also a “class” to learn how to lay new flooring.
Going on a “John vacation” can make you money if you buy the right stocks. Home Depot stock was up the week we were in Houston because of our many purchases of building materials, 4 ceiling fans, smoke alarms, 3 new windows, two front doors, 2 back doors, 2 bedroom and 2 bathroom doors, kitchen sink, counter tops and kitchen cabinets that were custom stained.
Sometimes at home we don’t pick up; but, on “John’s vacations,” we certainly do. Actually, it is nice to call the city for help.
Ever been on a vacation with a personal chef? On “John’s vacation,” we were fortunate to have two. Thank you, Julie and Susan!
Yes, the kitchen is the “heart of the home.” It was rewarding to redesign and relocate the kitchen for Jesse and Missouri with a new refrigerator and stove added.
When a family loses everything, it is a joy to be able to help them get “back to “normal.” We purchased a new bed and bedding and a dresser, couch, chair, coffe table, end tables, lamps, and a dining room table and chairs. Yes, the house is starting to feel more like home.
Like many “vacations,” you just don’t want them to end. Yes, it was hard to leave Houston. Since we didn’t accomplish everything we had planned, we have offered to pay to have a main circuit box installed, the electrical and plumbing work completed, bathrooms built out, and the leaky roof repaired or replaced. BakerRiply will help oversee the work to be done.
Yes, all good things come to an end…but Jesse and Missouri will be in our hearts and prayers for a long time to come. Thank You for this angel pen, Missouri, so that we can continue to write about and remember our “vacaton” with you.
“Vacations” like this takes “resources” to make good things happen. We are so appreciative of the Foglia Family Foundation for leading the way with a matching fund of $25,000 and for subsequent donations that allowed us to accomplish what we did to make life better for some and to provide hope for many.
We end with a little commerical break. If you would like to go on a “John vacation,” contact The Build Team at http://www.thebuildteam.org/contacts They have “mini- vacations” most weekends helping local residents in need. There may be another week long “vacation” in the Spring. Stay tuned! THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!
This was truly a COMMUNITY effort! We want to thank all those who supported this effort in so many ways. Visit the website BRHRelief.org for the most recent upates.