Members come together to help storm victims
On October 8, my husband and I joined volunteers from Scotia-Glenville Teachers Association for a drywall party in Schoharie. We met at the home of Randy and Deb Jenkins. Randy is the head of the Science Department for Scotia-Glenville School District and Deb is the library media specialist at Scotia-Glenville Middle School. During Hurricane Irene, the waters of Schoharie Creek reached about five feet in their first floor. The oil from the tank in the cellar coated much of the house. As Randy put it, “Tropical Storm Lee came through with the rinse cycle.” Their colleagues have been very supportive. They have supplied food, laundry service, and even a house to live in.
Randy shared the following story. Early in September after they had removed the oil and most of the water from the cellar, they were contemplating how to get 18 inches of sediment out of the cellar. One morning there was a knock at the door. A Mennonite gentleman said, “I have 20 farm-fed boys ready to help you clean our your cellar.” Their bucket brigade cleaned the muck from the cellar and also removed the furnace and the oil tank. They stayed for lunch and then went on to a neighbor’s house to offer their help again.
We worked from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM on that Saturday. Twenty volunteers finished the insulation, completed four rooms of drywall, replaced cellar windows, and removed rotten floorboards. Other volunteers will be taping and finishing the drywall, and a group from Scotia-Glenville will be painting as soon as the walls are ready. It was wonderful to see the walls go up; their home was beginning to take shape. My husband and I plan to return to help in the next few weeks.
The Schoharie Teachers Association has obtained a $30,000 worth of insulation, and, with the assistance of volunteers from throughout the state, they are working to insulate as many homes as they can. Retiree Council 12 President Jeanne Williams Bennett joined these volunteers as they insulated over 80 homes over Columbus Day weekend.
(Carolyn Darkangelo is a member of Mayfield Teachers Association)