Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Live from Pearlington - CURRENT NEEDS LIST

Things continue to build in Pearlington and I have identified many needs - material, organizational and practical - that I will be sharing with you in the coming days and weeks. The more you and your group understand about the timelines and the situation in Pearlington, the more informed choices you can make about who and what to bring, what you can expect when you get here and how you can be of the most value to this struggling community. A sample of what I am working on:

Downloadable .pdf files, attached to this blog, with basic instructions for:

- mucking out a house, stripping it down to the studs, cleaning and de-moulding and preparing for rebuilding; these instructions will prepare your group for what is involved, what you will need to bring with you; safety instructions, including what safety equipment is required to ensure all volunteers have a healthy experience, etc.
- assisting in the hanging and finishing of sheet rock (dry wall)
- cleaning, spraying and de-moulding a house to EPA standards
- other semi-skilled tasks that are required in this community at this time


- a brief history of Pearlington, demographics before and after Katrina; the stages of recovery and my personal and professional observations of each stage in Pearlington
- a brief instruction on Cultural Appropriateness on the ground; for those of us who have worked traumatic and cataclysmic events here and around the world, this is critical - it's about not assuming we know who these people are and what they need, but rather being open to learn, to fit into their culture regardless of our personal beliefs and history; to respect and honor their traditions and ways of doing things; to never make assumptions of even the simplest things, etc.
- basic leadership skills for managing a group of people on the ground; setting the moral and work ethic, modelling behavior while a guest in another culture, supporting your team emotionally while working in a difficult and traumatic situation; setting healthy boundaries concerning what can be realistically accomplished; never making promises you cannot keep, avoiding emotional entanglement while bonding with those you come to serve; a basic understanding of transference and counter-transference, etc.
- fitting in and working cooperatively within the existing volunteer community and allowing us to inform and guide you, based on our experience, in the appropriate methods of delivering your mission to this community.
- which issues are safe to become involved in and which ones of which to stay completely clear, etc.

Below is the Current Needs List for Pearlington:

Current Needs List:

Desperately Needed Professionals:
- Plumbers, Electricians, Carpenters, Dry Wallers, etc.

Badly needed construction materials:
- sheet rock (dry wall), tape and mud, sheet rock and mud knives, drop cloths
- framing materials, 2X4's, plywood etc.
- insulation
- electrical boxes; 1, 2 & 3 gang boxes
- wall switches and covers, junction boxes
- outlets and covers
- wiring 100 & 220 - 12-2, 10-2, 8-3
- wire nuts
- electrical tape
- service panels 150 amp and 200 amp 14 to 20 circuit panels
- meter boxes, square D or GE
- breakers 20 amp, 15 amp, 30 amp and 50 amp square D or GE
- wire staples
- heavy duty staple guns
- crowbars, nail pullers, scrapers
- wheelbarrows
- hand tools of all kinds
- work gloves, rubber boots (all sizes) and safety footwear (all sizes)
- indoor/outdoor bug spray in insect repellent (the gnats are nefarious!)

Office Supplies:
- printer ink cartridges for Lexmark 4300 series #32, 33, 34, 35 or gift card to WalMart
- 20lb. bond printer paper
- file folders
Cleaning Supplies:
- dish liquid
- pine oil
- Lysol
- spray cleaner 409 or Fantastic
- bleach and powdered laundry detergent (in manageable sized containers)
- window cleaner

Household Items:
- plastic garbage cans (small and large)
- toilet paper
- paper towels
- garbage bags (30 gallon)
- gallon Ziploc freezer and storage bags
- Kleenex
- Band Aides
- peroxide

Baby Supplies:
- diapers (all sizes)
- shelf life 2% milk cartons

Pearl*Mart Items:
- canned meats
- canned vegetables (no black beans or chick peas)
- tuna, chicken (canned)
- salt, pepper
- vegetable oil
- baking soda
- small bags or boxes of sugar
- coffee and filters
- vinegar
- flour
- corn meal
- dry red beans (kidney)
- soda (diet and regular)
- sugar substitutes - Sweet 'n Low, Equal or Sugar Twin

- people with the proper intention to serve with humility and grace
- good behavior, remembering that you are a guest in other people's lives
- folks who ONLY promise what they themselves can deliver (these folks have been disappointed enough)
- courage, perspective, kindness, loving and open hearts who work and play well with others

Glory Seekers, Egotists, Opportunists, Bullies and Bigots NEED NOT APPLY

Thank you and God bless,
Canada Jon White


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