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MORGAN â€“ They were literally up to their knees in mud! Thatâ€™s the kind of day a group of volunteers from the Morgan Church spent working to restore homes and yards for families devastated by the storms two weeks ago in Hartford, VT.
Pastor Michael DeSena put out a call at the Saturday night and Sunday services and 16 people showed up the next day, Labor Day, to make the 90 mile trip to help any way they could. The pastor said a colleague let him know there was a need for help in Hartford and Waterbury.
â€śFor a week or more, over 100 volunteers have shown up in Hartford everyday, but thereâ€™s still a lot to do,â€ť DeSena said.
Brian Pepin and his wife Rose were in that area a week before and wondered what they could do. When the announcement was made, they were eager to go.
â€śYou always hear about disasters that happen somewhere else and we were glad to be able to help out,â€ť Brian said. â€śWe worked at a house cleaning out mud with John Gobeil, Deanna Keenan, Connie Munukka, and Nancy Runk. Pastor DeSena and his wife Dena joined us half of the day.â€ť
â€śWe tore up walls half way up and had an assembly line passing buckets out of the basement,â€ť according to Mrs. Keenan. â€śIt was a beautiful old house but covered in mud. Everyone helped each other, some taking in neighboring families and getting to know neighbors they never knew before.â€ť
Everyone agreed the work was well organized. Headquarters was in the Hartford Municipal Building where the Parks and Recreationsâ€™ people coordinated the efforts. FEMA was on hand passing out water, gloves, masks, and tools. Churches had bag lunches for the volunteers. Vans drove along the roads offering water and food. Trucks came by collecting trash and smelling of oil, diapers, bottles, and slime.
A couple of hitchhikers came with their backpacks and pitched in. Even people driving by stopped to see what they could do.
The Morgan Church volunteers from this area included Bob Cain, Bob Durgin, Doreen Espeseth, Carol Gammon, John Gobeil, Deanna Keenan, Richard Kingston, Dominic Laurenzi, Connie Munukka, Ric and Tamana Pare, Brian and Rose Pepin, Nancy Runk, and Michael and Dena DeSena.