When Hurricane Charley touched down in Lee County, Florida in 2004, the Category 4 storm was the roughest to hit the area since the 1960s. John Mueller remembers seeing the endless caravans of utility trucks headed for Florida from all over the eastern seaboard. “It was so humbling,” he says. He and his wife, Mary, “promised ourselves that if we ever got the chance, we’d be there to reciprocate.”
Sherry-Lea Bloodworth Botop’s drive to help others after Hurricane Katrina stemmed from her experience on 9/11. She was living in New York, a young, newly divorced, single mom with two small children. “I remember walking downtown with the kids in their stroller to see what I could do” after the towers fell, she says. “There was nothing. I felt so helpless.” When Hurricane Katrina hit, she sprung into action.
25 Volunteer Trips Later, This Couple’s Commitment to New Orleans After Hurricane Katrina Remains Strong
Images of the lingering devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina – even many months after the Aug. 29, 2005 storm – moved Dave Kopra and Ann Drorbaugh. The Olympia, Washington, retirees yearned to help. Since 2006, Kopra and Drorbaugh have been on a mission to rebuild New Orleans one home at a time.
Six months after Hurricane Katrina decimated the Gulf Coast, Liz McCartney felt she had to do something to help. She persuaded her husband, Zack Rosenburg, to join her and started reaching out to nonprofits in New Orleans. From 30 emails, she got one just response. It was all they needed.