October 9, 2013 | 5:00 PM
Lyons, Colo.Today one of our teams helped clean up a badly damaged church attended by some of the residents we've helped in Lyons, Colo.
The River Church, named for its proximity to water, took heavy damage from the flood. The building's foundation had eroded so badly that a gaping hole was left where floodwaters had beaten against it.
"It was like [the building] was in the middle of the river,” says Mickey Lohr, who pastors the church. “We could see the river waters rushing beneath us through a great hole in the floor.”
Our disaster response team worked alongside members of the church who came out to clear and remove ruined drywall from every wall in the church.
So far, 866 volunteers have given more than 4,829 volunteer hours to complete 95 such work orders -- many of which would have meant days of work or thousands of dollars for those we helped.
October 8, 2013 | 7:00 PM
Lyons, Colo.Carl Lamb, a long time disaster response volunteer with Convoy of Hope is busy taking calls on the crisis hotline today.
“It’s amazing how taking the time to just talk to people brings them hope,” says Carl.
Our team utilizes the crisis hotline to find families we can benefit the most. Many of these calls result in work orders to mud-out basements or clear debris that our teams then fulfill.
Carl came with an out-of-state volunteer team that is working to clean up homes in the area with Nick Wiersma, our disaster response volunteer service director. “Our primary focus is residential impact,” says Nick Wiersma.
Our teams continue to focus relief efforts on families and homes in hope's of relieving some of the financial and emotional stress that disasters can place on the family unit.
October 7, 2013 | 6:00 PM
Lyons, Colo.The aftermath of September's Colorado floods left thousands of homes damaged. Families who have now been out of their homes for weeks continue to file work orders with our disaster response team.
In the face of mold and increasingly poor working conditions volunteers continue to join our efforts to restore some normalcy for those most impacted by the flooding.
Nell and Gary, lost 75 feet of their property to a neighboring creek. Our response team worked to clean out their garage and scrape debris from their basement floors. “We always thought the work here would keep us young. Now I’m not so sure,” says 73-year-old Nell.
The response team is led by staff from Springfield, Mo., and consists of volunteers from all over the United States. Dale Smith's dedication is a good example of our disaster response volunteers. “We took a week off from work and drove from Indiana,” says Dale who came with three others from Anderson, Indiana.
September 25, 2013 | 4:00 PM
Springfield, Mo.Our disaster relief efforts continue in Colorado where thousands remain temporarily homeless and needing assistance.
Hal Donaldson, president of Convoy of Hope, recently returned from Lyons where he met with survivors and our Global Disaster Response team.
“I’m very alarmed at how fast this story faded from the national media,” he says. “Support from our partners and volunteers has been incredible but we still need help as the devastation is widespread and many families are hurting.”
To date, our team has served 60 households in in cities of Firestone, Lafayette, Frederick, Longmont, Boulder, Gun Barrel, Niwot and Lyons. We’ve also distributed more than 22 mobile loads of relief products and cleaning supplies, and we have coordinated more than 600 volunteers and partnered with 52 churches.
September 18, 2013 | 5:00 PM
Longmont, Colo.Just blocks from where children ride their bikes on sidewalks while their mothers visit at mailboxes, National Guardsmen stop motorists at a checkpoint that serves as an entrance leading into parts of the neighborhood inundated with flood water last week.
There, piles of waterlogged sheetrock, couches, water heaters, refrigerators, mattresses and other furniture flank the streets. Teams of volunteers, from organizations like Convoy of Hope, busily help homeowners clean their homes and salvage household items.
“No one in this neighborhood has flood insurance,” says Suzanne, a homeowner whose basement flooded. “We’re not in a floodplain so having that kind of insurance didn’t make sense.”
Suzanne could be speaking for thousands of homeowners who face a same dilemma — their homes were inundated with water on September 12th when historic flood waters wreaked havoc on parts of Colorado.
“This is going to be a huge financial hit for many families,” she says.
According to Suzanne, as the waters rose her children did their best to move valuables from the basement to higher ground. As they worked, all the windows burst open and the river water and mud poured in. “It was scary,” says Nicole, Suzanne’s 13-year-old daughter.
On this day, Suzanne is at a loss wondering when her family will be able to move back in. As she speaks a team of volunteers from Convoy of Hope arrive. They slip into Tyvex suits and gloves, and put on masks. Within minutes they descend into Suzanne’s basement and begin removing furniture, clothing, and a variety of personal effects and storage items.
Already, the Convoy of Hope Global Disaster Response team and four tractor-trailers of water, food, clean up and emergency supplies are in Colorado. The team is working in partnership with Timberline Church in Fort Collins, Rever Church in Longmont and several others throughout the area.
“Our partners and volunteers are the cornerstones to everything we do during disasters,” says Nick Wiersma, who is leading the team in Colorado.
This is evident in Longmont.
Buckets and garbage cans full of debris are painstakingly removed from Suzanne’s basement. The work is arduous, exhausting and dirty. But Debbie Ball, a cake maker and first-time volunteer with Convoy of Hope, is impressed with what a difference a team of dedicated volunteers can accomplish over the span of a few hours.
“It’s nice to be able to help families,” she says. “And the work is hard, but not as bad as I thought it would be.”
Bob Brewer, who has served in several disaster zones with Convoy of Hope, says debris removal teams are working throughout the area in the coming days. But, he says more local volunteers are needed.
“Many of these families are overwhelmed right now,” he says. “We have a huge opportunity to help families who are hurting and our goal is to help as many as possible.”
September 17, 2013 | 4:45 PM
Longmont, Colo.Two tractor-trailer loads of emergency supplies for Colorado flood survivors have arrived in Longmont for distribution. Convoy of Hope’s Global Disaster Response team has conducted cleanup efforts in Boulder, Lafayette and Longmont while continuing to assess areas where help is needed.
September 15, 2013 | 9:00 AM
Longmont, Colo.On Saturday the Global Disaster response team dispatched two more tractor trailers of relief supplies to Colorado. Team members already on the ground have begun debris removal and supplied local churches with supplies for distribution in the Longmont, Firestone and Lafayette area.
Two additional response teams were also dispatched from our Global Distribution Center early Sunday to provide continued help with cleanup and debris removal.
September 13, 2013 | 8:00 AM
Springfield, Mo.With several Colorado communities reeling from flooding, our Global Disaster Response team dispatched an assessment team to Longmont, Colo., along with a debris removal trailer and a box truck of supplies.
“We have been monitoring the flooding this week and have been working steadily to make contact with our partners in Colorado,” says Karen Benson, Global Disaster Response Director. “Our team will conduct assessments of flood-ravaged communities in the greater Boulder area and a comprehensive response plan will be developed based on the information our team collects.”
At least three people have been killed and 17 remain unaccounted for since the flooding began. The team’s initial staging point will be at Rever Church in Longmont.