June 24 - July 8, 2018 // 15 Days
July 11 - July 25, 2018 // 15 Days
Completing Grades 8-12
Details will be shared soon
Join our 15-day high school community service hurricane relief service program focused on the residents of Houston and the surrounding area.
On August 25th, 2017, Hurricane Harvey made landfall on the Texas coast. The devastating and extremely catastrophic storm dumped over 50 inches of rain on south-central Texas and affecting more than 13 million people and causing over $180 Billion dollars in damage (soon to surpass the costs of Hurricane Katrina). The category 4 storm turned roads into rivers, and the flooding forced nearly 40,000 people out of their homes. 210,000 homes were damaged and destroyed, and 70 people lost their lives.
Whenever we witness destruction like this, we can’t help but wonder how we can help. Since 2006 we have been volunteering our summers to assist the homeowners affected by hurricanes Katrina and Rita. We have seen the struggle to rebuild and witnessed the sluggish pace of these efforts. When the dust settles and the media leaves, the rebuilding must go on. Oftentimes, it is through the efforts of grassroots volunteers that victims are able to rebuild their lives.
This summer, we ask you to join us as we travel down to Houston to offer assistance to those in need of help. At this point in time, our efforts will focus on debris removal, manning donation centers, and lending an ear to those who want to share their story. Our work will be difficult, our accommodations simple, but the feeling of being of service to the warm people of Texas will be priceless.
Keep an eye out here for additional details.
A Certificate of Community Service indicating the total number of hours worked and a Presidential Volunteer Service Award will be issued upon successful completion of the program.
At the RLT office we have watched in disbelief the widespread devastation left in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. The bulk of charitable giving may already occurred and will come nowhere near the public funding that will ultimately be necessary for a rebuilding effort destined to last at least ten years. The expectation today is that most homes and communities will need to be bulldozed and rebuilt. The scale of the disaster, stretching for hundreds of miles, and its impact on infrastructure like roads, bridges, and phone service, has overwhelmed local capacity to develop a recovery plan. Even basic needs assessments are still preliminary.
As the tragedy continues to unfold, we have been in conversation with non-profit organizations across the country such as Habitat for Humanity; we have also talked with many of you who also want to help. Our goal is to secure the most useful opportunity for RLT to assist in the massive reconstruction efforts that will soon be underway. The core of RLT community service programs is to contribute and share with others around the world; never has there been a more pressing need than right now in our own country. RLT’s community service experience will allow us to be self-sufficient as we travel to this afflicted area; small groups of our volunteers will contribute time and labor in 15-day programs throughout the summer.
We will travel to Houston and the greater Houston area to joing forces with local community members. While we are still finalizing the details of our Hurricane Harvey Relief program, a few things are certain: we will be helping out in whatever way we are most needed. This will likely take the form of helping to repair schools, assisting to rebuild homes, working at local shelters, or replanting landscapes. We are currently determining the needs of the local communities and will be updating our website as soon as we know where we are most needed. We will be staying locally, in houses or hostels. Our objective while we are there will be to learn from the local communities and begin the rebuilding process.
While this trip is a labor of love, there is also time for group fun and activities. From morning and evening group activities, to pizza and barbeque dinners, there will be many opportunities to forge new friendships. The last two days of our journey will be spent exploring, resting, and reflecting on our contribution to this coastal community.