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Thursday, November 23, 2023

Microstory 2024: Louisiana

It was a couple of years before papa took a lot of time off from work all at once again. He would sometimes take one or two days off, or he would do his volunteer work on the weekends. He would hand food out to people who couldn’t afford it, and he would build houses. He did a few runs to raise money for different charities. He was always working, even when he wasn’t working. In August of 2005, Hurricane Katrina formed in the Gulf of Mexico. When it hit land, it destroyed a bunch of homes, and people even died. The news called it devastating. None of us was even alive yet, but my papa was. He asked for an emergency vacation, and his boss let him have it. Papa spent an entire Thursday learning new skills with the Auxiliary Support Branch. If you have an older friend or relative who donated blood, they probably did it through ASB. They provide volunteer aid all over the continent, and they were in charge of something called disaster relief after the big hurricane, along with the government. The next day after his new training in Chicago, they called to tell him that they needed him to fly to Louisiana on Saturday. So without much warning, he did that, and was sent to a shelter for people who had just lost their homes. Because of his experience as an engineer, he was put in charge of Facilities. It wasn’t an official job, they just needed someone, and there was so much chaos, volunteers just had to do whatever they could to help. He made sure that each resident had a cot to sleep on and blankets, and that there was enough kitchen stuff to feed everybody, and stuff like that. He spent so much time there that he had to take time off, even though this was time off. We’ll talk about that on the next slide.

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