In March, flooding ravaged parts of Louisiana. Among the hardest hit was Tangipahoa Parish, where at least 1,000 homes took on water.
That’s where the Ginger Ford Northshore Fuller Center for Housing has worked for years to build new homes and repair scores of existing homes. This week, their efforts to help families still recovering from the floods has gotten a tremendous boost from World Changers, which has sent 140 young volunteers from several different states to work with Ginger Ford Northshore.
“It definitely builds morale among the homeowners,” said Ginger Ford Northshore Executive Director Tamara Danel, whose Fuller Center covenant partner also hosted World Changers teams in 2013 and 2014. “They definitely feel uplifted. We’ve got a lot of happy homeowners who were in desperate need of a wheelchair ramp or flood repairs or repairs to their existing homes.”
“The World Changers’ mission is the same as The Fuller Center’s mission in that they come to serve in the name of Jesus, and they want it to be done with love for whoever needs help. It’s a great fit.” — Tamara Danel, Executive Director, Ginger Ford Northshore Fuller Center
In addition to helping flood victims make long-needed repairs, the volunteers also are building wheelchair ramps and making other non-flood-related repairs. The covenant partner also is hosting a 10-volunteer team from St. Joseph’s Prep School of Philadelphia. At least 19 projects are being tackled this week.
Danel said the community’s embrace of the volunteers is key to being able to host such a large group, and their response also makes volunteers want to return.
“We have some repeat World Changers group leaders who’ve been here before and really like coming here,” she said. “They like the food and the hospitality and they like the scope of the work that we assign them. They feel like they can really get hands-on and get involved and really make a difference in the lives of the people they have come to serve. And we’ve had lots of local churches and local businesses step forward to feed our volunteers.”
In addition to supplying many hands ready to work, World Changers provides some intangible support to The Fuller Center, as well, by infusing new energy and spirit into the ministry. Danel believes that The Fuller Center and World Changers are kindred spirits and natural partners.
“The World Changers’ mission is the same as The Fuller Center’s mission in that they come to serve in the name of Jesus, and they want it to be done with love for whoever needs help,” she said. “It’s a great fit. All of the volunteers come with eager hearts and minds and are just ready to serve and do whatever it takes. So it’s a great fit with The Fuller Center.”