It's a difficult to understand disasters and the aftermath. We see them on cable stations and our local news stations. Homes that are ripped from foundations in tornadoes, buildings bought to rubble in earthquakes, tsunamis that roar through villages leaving death tolls that become just a figure. That is till you're in one. Pictures don't show the smell of mold and tears of many too proud to realize that our lives are forever imprinted with a nightmare.My name is Liz Treston, I live in Long Beach, NY. October 29, 2012 seems so distant for many that did not have the Atlantic come surging through it's city and front door. We were lost, devastated by the sheer destruction. We're also stereotypical New Yorkers. We wanted things fixed and back to normal the next day. We were in for a sad awakening.I don't know how we met. I was helping my neighbors gather information from disaster relief groups. There were many names. There are many souls upon this planet given a calling that says I refuse to let others give up. There will be hope and a tomorrow.My hope and a number of souls came to City, in a white van with NECHAMA written on the side. My family was assessing our damage. It was cold. We were lucky in many ways no one was hurt. The van stopped at my house. I was expecting another offer a water and a meal as I protected myself in a cocoon of uncertainty."We're here to help", said a young man. His face clean shaven and his hands with recent callouses. "Think we're okay". I knew their were others who were in worse shape then myself. When you're in the thick of the guts of your house laying in the street you don't think clearly. You worry about others. Maybe this man saw my soul. He slipped me a card and said to call when I was ready. I gave him the names of neighbors that I knew needed more help.That's what happens. You see kindness and a glimmer of a sense that things will be okay.In a few months it will be 4 years since Superstorm Sandy slid up from the South and stole out houses. It never stole our souls though because of the men and women from places that come to post disaster areas like NECHAMA.I hope that you can give to this incredible selfless group. You truly never know when a disaster will come. I am glad to know that when the water recedes NECHAMA will be there for you. When the water did recede in Long Beach I became an active member in learning and disseminating information. With the guidance of Dorothy Maples and others from the Long Term Recovery Groups we started our own non-profit to help our residents prepare for future emergencies. Again without NECHAMA and it's continuous efforts across boundaries and borders too many souls will feel lost. Help them let those in disaster areas find their way home.
Having never volunteered in disaster relief, I really didn't know what to expect. I decided on Nechama since their message was clear - mucking and gutting homes/come one, come all. After having served first as a day volunteer and then later as a residential, I couldn't be more pleased with my decision. This organization works so smoothly from top to bottom that it makes things so very simple for all volunteers involved. All anyone needs to do is show up with a good attitude, ready to go and they provide tools and leadership. Without question, I look forward to working for and with them in the near and far future. If you are looking for a group to volunteer with and/or support in any other way you see fit, I highly recommend this exceptional non profit.
I'm trying really hard to find something to be critical of but I just can't. What can I say...they really know what they're doing in this department and have everything covered.
I found Nechama on a website when I wanted to volunteer in Baton Rouge. I spent a week with them and my experience was awesome. The staff, team leaders, and my fellow volunteers were great and hard-working people. Even though it was hard work, it was very rewarding and fun to be working side by side with like-minded people. Many friendships were made as we helped many families.
I would do it again and only with Nechama.
I have a long history (20 years) of volunteering and recently joined NECHAMA on a 5-day volunteering trip in Baton Rouge, LA to help with their flood relief efforts. I was very happy with my stay. The organization was on the ground, set up with tools and actively welcoming volunteers very shortly after the disaster. The staff was wonderful - they are passionate about what they do, very knowledgeable, and wonderful to be around. I received a response within a few hours at the most from the time I applied or asked any follow-up questions. In fact, I don't think I've experienced that good of a response time with any other organization I've ever volunteered with. The work was well-organized and meaningful. We did mostly muck and guts as well as debris removal, as would be standard after a flood. We were provided with all the tools and safety equipment we needed, and our team leaders were a great resource. The base we stayed at, in the basement of a church, was simple yet comfortable. We had access to showers every day after work. I had a great experience with NECHAMA from the minute I expressed interest in joining the project until my last day with the team. We all worked hard, the atmosphere was friendly and fun, and I truly felt appreciated. I would go back and volunteer with them in a heartbeat, and wholeheartedly recommend them.
NECHAMA is hands down the BEST nonprofit I've worked with! I'm currently working for NECHAMA as a Team Leader down in Baton Rouge and it has been an amazing experience thus far. I first worked with NECHAMA earlier this year in St Louis while I was in NCCC and couldn't wait to join them again. The staff are the most selfless, caring, organized, and dedicated people I have ever met and same goes for the volunteers that they recruit along the way. It has been a blessing and I am very humbled to be here and to be a part of such a huge effort here in Baton Rouge. Looking forward to working with them again in the future!
I have just returned from working with NECHAMA, gutting homes in Baton Rouge. It was an absolute wonderful and challenging experience. My goal was to contribute, in some small way, to the flood victims. I was very fortunate to find NECHAMA because they were very effective and efficient in their actions. The leaders of this organization certainly exemplify their mission, giving comfort and aid selflessly. They work very hard to walk the talk. The passion, spirit and dedication of the organization is giving flood victims a sense of hope in the aftermath of their tragedy. Please contribute in some way to this organization. It tore me up to have to leave and return to my other responsibilities, but I will return to these wonderful people and their effort.
I have volunteered with Nechama three separate times within the last year and will be more than happy to volunteer with them again whenever I can. They are a great organization starting with their leadership who are knowledgeable and hard working down to the volunteers they bring in who are always willing to come back because it was such a good experience.
Volunteers of any skill set can volunteer here and make a difference, Nechama has all the tools and leaders who are great and willing to teach. Along with providing housing Nechama makes volunteering easy and cost effective.
Disasters are never good but Nechama has the people, tools and knowledge to make a difference in survivors lives. All they need are more volunteers. Be a volunteer, be the difference, I guarantee you will want to come back again and again!
We partnered with NECHAMA to bring a group of Boston youth to Bay St. Louis, Mississippi for a week-long service trip in April 2015. The NECHAMA staff and volunteers were the definition of excellence. Each and every one of them were professional, dedicated, and friendly. The youth quickly bonded with NECHAMA, which led to an empowering and unforgettable experience for them. Thank you, NECHAMA, for providing such an enriching and engaging week of service for our teens! Read about the youths' experience here: http://southbostontoday.com/youth-ambassadors-hurricane-katrina-relief-service-trip-a-great-success/
These AWESOME PEOPLE worked and worked and worked in my community after superstorm Sandy and they were nothing short of AWESOME! I helped them, but I am nowhere near their skill set!
Such a great organization, really committed to helping those in need. They do wonderful work and create a great atmosphere for volunteers to be useful and make a difference. Thank you for the wonderful experience!
I volunteered with Nechama in St. Louis MO. Dorothy was an amazing person continuing to get the work order through and made sure volunteers where having fun and feeling needed. Cody who was a volunteer told many volunteers how to complete work at its finest. Made sure everyone was safe and having a great time. Even though I have worked with both Dorothy and Cody in the same program in the past it was great to see their dedication to help out communities that have been devastated by a natural disaster. Nechama is a great organization and I will volunteer with them again soon!!