David Waskom gave a presentation to the natchitoches Kiwanis Club recapping the efforts of the club’s Disaster Team in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.
Waskom said the group picked Victoria, Texas because when they looked at a weather map, Victoria got all four directional winds from the hurricane, which means they received a significant amount of damage.
The team consisted of David and Mary Kay Waskom, Kiwanis President Dion Boyett, Rodney Boswell, Craig George, Kristy Sampite, Jesse LeBlanc and Angela Waskom.
The Kiwanis Club in Victoria put the Natchitoches crew up for few nights before they moved into a local hotel. The University of Houston-Victoria fed them breakfast and dinner everyday in the student union.
Kiwanis member in Victoria that worked for an advertising company donated used tarps and banners by the pallet to reroof damaged homes. Waskom said the Natchitoches team went through three pallets and brought some home to save for the next time they’re needed.
Their work began Sept. 17 and members were amazed by some of the situations they encountered. The first home they worked on was about 30 miles south of Victoria. Before the homeowners were allowed back after evacuation, someone had gone through the community and stolen all of the AC units from the houses. One homeowner had open heart surgery 2 weeks before the storm hit and had to grab a pair of sunglasses so no one could see the tears of gratitude in his eyes.
“It was cool to watch people realize you’re there to help and open up and get into helping you,” said Waskom. “The thing that’s so cool is it became organic. Things just started showing up because people wanted to help.”
The Natchitoches Kiwanis team received work orders for 13 homes, which took them 5 days to complete (in 120 degree weather). Waskom said the Baptist men’s group, which gave them the work orders, said they didn’t have anyone that was as good as the Natchitoches crew.
In club news, Boyett presented Kiwanian Emily Settle with the Kiwanian of the Month Award for October.