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If Christian Aid Ministries hadn't heard our story when we were registering with FEMA, I don't know where we would be today.


—Lorraine Bostwick, Little Axe


Above, CAB volunteers lay concrete for a front porch as a finishing touch to the Bostwicks' new home in Little Axe, while others (on the right) apply siding. Soon, the gnarled tree in the background will serve as the only physical reminder of the May 19, 2013 destruction; but even the tree will grow anew eventually.


building materials. Te money—a portion of the more than $291,000 entrusted to the Foundation—was designated for tornado relief and came from the electric co-op family network: employees, members, and businesses like statewide associations, distribution and generation and transmission co-ops, and financiers.


Te Disaster Response


Services team administers “base life”—cooking, cleaning and other the behind-the-scenes domestic chores—and lines up and oversees work for the volunteers who have rotated through for weeklong shifts. Since November, more than 320 volunteers—most of whom have construction or farming backgrounds—have stayed at the Little Axe “base,” and collectively contributed 12,800-plus hours of free labor for qualified people. In


total, the group’s volunteers built three new homes—one of which belongs to the Bostwicks—and completed every manner of repair on an additional 40 homes in the disaster area. CAM’s disaster services purpose


is not only about the physical acts of helping people rebuild. “We share the love of God in hopes of instilling spiritual stability that provides emotional strength to weather the life’s storms,” Troyer said.


Te CAM group will be gone


before the one-year anniversary of the twister that went through the area and still haunts Lorraine. “I know we’re lucky, but it’s still emotional,” she said. And when the weather threatens? Tey’ll take cover in a storm shelter, also provided by kind-hearted strangers.


A different kind of canned food drive


Troyer oversees a “canned food” donation effort. I quickly picked up on this: home-canned fruits and vegetables—often from homegrown produce— prepared by a group of people known for its traditional and simple way of life and awesome cooking.


"It’s a way for those who can’t travel or find it tough to give financially to be involved, and everyone loves the food,” she said.


I imagine so. —Patti May 2014 News Magazine 13


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