The Port Aransas Chamber of Commerce formed a fund in response to Hurricane Harvey. New Day Port A will raise “short-term donations and securing long-term recovery block grants and other funding sources to rebuild our community.”
“We have got everything from still picking up debris and nails, to totaling rebuilding,” says Sheri Johnson of New Day Port A. “So, just whatever skills you have we really appreciate the hands and feet on the ground here.”
According to the Port Aransas Chamber of Commerce, there have already been more than 400,000 volunteer hours contributed since Hurricane Harvey. Johnson says volunteer efforts have slowed down since the start of the school year.
“All you have to have is just the willing heart to do it,” year-long volunteer Cate Matthews said.
Matthews and her husband Bob, moved down from Colorado to help with the rebuilding throughout the Coastal Bend.
They, along with hundreds of volunteers, have worked on homes around Port Aransas.
Cate and Bob soon stumbled upon MaryAnn and Steven Kelley, whose home was devastated during the storm.
Now, the Kelleys’ home is a month away from completion.
“And there’s still a lot of volunteers needed here,” MaryAnn Kelly said. “Some people haven’t even started rebuilding yet and we still need volunteers.”
New Day Port A organizers are hoping for large organizations and trade labors to help rebuild on their Volunteer Day.
Volunteer Day will take place on the fourth Saturday of every month until volunteers are no longer needed.
Johnson said the recovery likely will take at least four years.
“So until every project is completed, we will be here to help our residents,” she said.