Helping Hurricane Ike Families Recover in San Leon, Texas for Christmas

Project417 hosted a volunteer team from Georgia State University – the Vietnamese Student Association – to visit San Leon, Galveston County, Texas and help a family re-build and renovate their hurricane ravaged home.

More photos to be posted at our Flickr photo sharing pages …

Team leaders Andy and April started the 1,600 mile drive down on Dec 11th and arrived Saturday morning the 13th to meet the volunteers (after a short hiatus just south of Nashville, Tennessee where we were delayed for a night during an ice storm on the interstate). Our volunteers from GSU had driven the thousand miles from Atlanta in a rented 15 passenger van.

During Andy’s initial Hurricane Ike disaster relief visit to Texas in September and October, he met the Vo family in San Leon – they were sleeping in their car while trying to re-build their flooded out home. So Project417 immediately began planning for return trips. Julie Vo (no relation) of the GSU – VSA contacted us  at the end of November after seeing our appeal for volunteers at Project417.com

Julie and her team of 13 volunteers turned out to be a real blessing – the hardest working group of volunteers Andy has ever hosted during trips for Hurricanes Katrina and Ike recovery. More trip details, photos  and updates will be posted here soon. Our next volunteer trips start in January 2009, next month – there’s still so much work to do. Contact us here by posting a comment to find out how you can help or donate.

DONATE Now to help the families in San Leon – your donation will help fund more volunteer teams and purchase much needed clothing, household supplies, furniture – renovation building materials,  & heavy construction equipment rentals.

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Andy and Victoria Vo

Andy and Victoria Vo

Hurricane Ike Disaster Recovery – San Leon, Texas – Volunteer Trip

The recovery work continues –

From our facebook group, come visit us there:

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=37327829412

Andy

Andy

(you must be logged into Facebook to visit the group)


 
 
Continuing disaster relief effortsby Project417 team member Andy Coates

San Leon, Texas

San Leon, Texas

in September and October , there will be another volunteer trip to take part in the recovery work in Galveston County from December 13th to 17th, 2008. The work will take place in San Leon, Texas, a small town on the coast that depends primarily on the devastated fishing industry for survival. The Hurricane Ike storm surge severely damaged most homes in San Leon and the volunteer recovery projects will consist mostly of property clean-up and house renovation and gutting.
Plans arefor a Toronto and area team to visit San Leon Texas in the second week of January. April and Andy are heading down there this week (Dec 11th)  to meet a group of 12 volunteers from Georgia State University- The Vietnamese Students Association and we will be performing community relief work such as property clean-up, and renovations / gutting of flood damaged homes for primarily the Vietnamese American families who live there.The Georgia group is there from the 13th to the 17 of December and then we’ll return.In the second week of January, we also have tentatively booked another group of volunteers from the University of Illinois, approximately 20 students, to visit San Leon again. Many of this group have experience gutting out homes and other relief work in Alabama, Mississippi and New Orleans, Louisiana following Hurricane Katrina.

Consider joining a team. Donate to project417 to help the Hurricane Ike victims

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From canayjun.blogspot.com – P.M. Harper’s Address on TV

Prime Minister Harper’s Address to the Nation on TV

Normally devoted to issues of homelessness, humanitarian aid and disaster relief – This event is so important to Canada that I re-published it here from my Canada News Commentary blog at canayjun.blogspot.com

UPDATED 12:00 Noon, Dec 4 – Parliament suspended. Gov. Gen Michaelle Jean has approved Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s request to suspend Parliament, agreeing to put the government on hold until the end of January, the legal stall tactic used by the Prime Minister is called “proroguing parliament”.

UPDATED 9:16PM, Dec 3 – Click the title above to link to the video feed of Prime Minister Harper’s address from CTV.ca or from YouTube Canada right here:

For the full text of the speech including Dion’s response click here
Harper focused his attack on the coalition by referring to “backroom deals” struck with separatists, an obvious reference to the Bloc and leader Gilles Duceppe. He did not mention that he will meet with the Governor General tomorrow at 9:30 am, nor did he say he would seek to suspend parliament. He spoke only of ongoing meetings and deliberations in advance of a full budget he wants to release in January, 2009 [Can we afford to wait?]


In a little less than two hours, Prime Minister Stephen Harper will address Canadians on a television broadcast to be carried by the major TV networks.

It is the minority Conservative Party leader’s latest attempt to stave off the impending non-confidence vote and the proposed Liberal – NDP – Bloc Coalition Accord to defeat the minority government and assume majority control of Canada’s parliament. It is expected that Mr. Harper may announce that parliament will be “prorogued” or temporarily suspended until January, a date he has mentioned as when the Conservative Finance Minister would be ready to submit a more complete budget to the Canadian people.

As one who is calling the Coalition an undemocratic bid to take control of the government, Prime Minister Harper should take a page from his own book. What could be more detrimental to the democratic process of government in Canada than suspending the house? While parliamentary rules allow parliament to be prorogued after a minimum of one sitting, this would be a most blatant attempt at minority control of the will of the people of Canada.

Prime Minister Harper and his minority Conservative Party have never won a majority in Canada, having garnered only 37 percent of the popular vote. The Coalition represents 62 percent of Canadians and holds 163 seats in parliament versus 143 seats for the Conservatives. Stay tuned to the Canayjun’s Canada News Blog here for real time feeds of Harpers address.

The following links and previous post here on the blog will give you a good background.

Canada’s PM to address nation in crisis

Text of the Coalition Accord

I’m part of the 62 percent majority

Coalition for Change – the 62 Percent Majority Petition

FEMA Relief in Texas Thousands Waiting to Rebuild after Ike

Source NYTimes.com  – A letter To the Editor: from FEMA about housing relief efforts following Hurricane Ike.

Hurricane Ike damaged home in San Leon, Galveston County, Texas

Hurricane Ike damaged home in San Leon, Galveston County, Texas

Approximately 22,000 people displaced by Hurricane Ike sought and found FEMA shelter assistance. FEMA  …has reimbursed them for expenses they may have incurred. This reimbursement program was scheduled to end last week, but was extended when it became clear that repairs and clearances for some homes would be delayed. FEMA is judging extensions on a case-by-case basis. Some could stretch into next year. – quoting Jonathan F. Thompson, Director of External Affairs, FEMA”.

Andy Coats and Project417, who partnered with the Salvation Army and San Leon Community Disaster Relief for two weeks at the end of September, is retruning to San Leon with volunteer teams to help with the re-building. Many of the poorer residents of San Leon are stuck in a Catch 22 situation with repsect to their FEMA claims. Although they qualify for FEMA assistance grants to re-build their homes, the FEMA aid is dependant on the house foundations being raised at least eight feet above flood plain levels. In the case of one family Andy helped in San Leon, while the FEMA grant exceeds $25,000 – sufficient to repair the storm surge submerged home – it does not cover the cost of raising the home foundation the required height on pillars to be safe from future storm surges. As a result, no insurance company will issue a policy, and no mortgage can be issued without insurance. The result is three fold, FEMA will not pay the money without insurance on the home. The family can not afford the extensive repairs, and the home can not be sold, because no purchaser would receive a mortgage without the insurance.

Project417 is seeking donations to adopt Texas families in similar situations, assist in the rebuilding to FEMA standards, and to raise volunteer teams to take part in re-building to reduce overall construction costs. Check back to the blog pages here for updates on the next planned volunteer trips in December and January.  Share this page with your friendsDigg the story, and share it on Facebook.

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