In May 2015, Rio Grande Valley, Texas, was hit with heavy rainfall and flash flooding, causing household damages and power outages. After the storm, World Renew Disaster Response Services (DRS) regional managers were in touch quickly with communities in Texas and deployed early response coordinators to assess the initial damage, connect with affected communities, and lay the groundwork for a long-term response.
Reconstruction teams began working in Rio Grande Valley in September 2016. World Renew DRS has entered into a long-term partnership with this community, committing to sending consecutive teams of volunteers to provide reconstruction services to homeowners who need help restoring their damaged homes.
You can serve as a member of a reconstruction team to help bring hope to families impacted by this disaster. Team roles include:
- Construction crew: Work ranges from minor repairs to complete new builds. Those with home repair or reconstruction experience and those who are willing to help are needed.
- Cook crew: A team of three cooks plans and prepares three meals a day for 18 to 25 people from Monday through Friday.
You will work with 18 to 25 other adults from across North America. Each team has an on-site manager who oversees the day-to-day operations of the team and the site, as well as a construction supervisor who manages the work projects. World Renew DRS provides fully equipped tool trailers. Materials are provided by the local partnering recovery group at each location.
Housing is at a local church. Bedrooms are provided for couples. Individuals of the same gender may share rooms. Linens and towels are provided. There are common areas in which to spend your free time. Meals are prepared by a team of volunteer cooks. Your team will eat breakfast and dinner together from Monday through Friday.
Meals from Monday through Friday and volunteer housing are provided at no charge. Travel options and costs are as follows, within the U.S. and Canada only:
- September–May: If you volunteer for the full three-week assignment, you are reimbursed for most of your travel to and from the site. If you volunteer for two weeks, you are reimbursed for one way to the site. If you volunteer for one week, travel costs are your responsibility.
- Summer: If you volunteer for the full two-week assignment, you are reimbursed for most of your travel to and from the site. If you volunteer for one week, travel costs are your responsibility.
Please bring sleeping bags, pillows, towels, and toiletries. A general packing list can be found on page nine of Preparing to Serve, a guide compiled by World Renew DRS. Materials and basic tools are provided and coordinated by the local construction coordinator. Skilled tradesmen are encouraged to bring their own tools if possible. This should be discussed with the local site coordinator during the planning process.
Volunteers should be 18 years of age and up. Both people with construction experience and people who can act as helpers are needed. The World Renew DRS volunteer manager will put each team together with a balance of skill sets.
If you would like to learn more about the RCA's volunteer opportunities for individuals and groups, please get in touch with us.
Coordinator for Volunteer Engagement
Volunteer Placement Specialist
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