By Joyce May
The Cove Herald
Coveites Unite organizers are hoping for a week of warm, dry weather and a roster full of hardworking, able-bodied, compassionate volunteers in order to get storm recovery efforts in full swing in the city.
Pastor John Hooser, who helping spearhead volunteer efforts to rebuild storm-damaged homes, said volunteers are still needed and encouraged to attend an introduction and training meeting scheduled Tuesday from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in Copperas Cove City Hall Council Chambers located at 507 S. Main Street.
Coveites Unite, an unaffiliated flood assistance volunteer organization for the city of Copperas Cove, has been formed as a collaborative, charitable effort to bring neighbors together to help flood victims.
Volunteers from Baptist groups throughout the state aided homeowners in the days after the Father’s Day flooding to rip wet flooring and wall materials from homes, and Hooser said organizers hope to now put teams together and activate them to start the rebuild project next week.
“Hopefully this week everything will dry out and we can get started on it. We checked it last week and things were still pretty wet,” he said. “If the clouds move out and we get that warm dry air in here we should be okay by next week.”
Hooser said volunteer teams will be structured based upon their availability with some working during the evening and others on the weekend.
“We kind of got to put it together once we see what the puzzle looks like,” Hooser said.
A skilled leader will head each team, and anyone regardless of skill level is encouraged to volunteer.
The group is looking for people with time to share, those with sheetrock installation, mud work and texturing skills and donations to help offset the cost of supplies.
Local builders and developers have donated much of the wall material.
For more information, to volunteer or to request assistance, please contact Kelly Dix at 547-4221 ext. 224 Identification badges will be issued to the trained volunteers, and homeowners have been advised to verify the identification of anyone who arrives at their home offering assistance.
“If the individuals do not have that (identification) they are not part of us,” Hooser said.
The pastor said some homeowners have been understandably leery of the free assistance because of a fear of being scammed.
“A lot of people think you don’t get anything for nothing, so people really didn’t trust us. There is no charge for this at all. If someone comes in and tries to charge they are not part of us,” Hooser said. “If they have an ID badge and they try to charge, we need to know so we can address that. This is strictly a neighbor helping neighbor, good Samaritan thing.”
Copperas Cove Emergency Management Coordinator Phyllis Johnson said the identification badges have expiration dates so that they will be meaningless after the work effort is complete.
“I don’t think that we’ve had any problems because I think people in Copperas cove are aware. They ask the right questions,” Johnson said, further explaining that means asking to see photo identification that has logo of the organization that the person is representing.
Contact Joyce May at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (254) 547-0428.