By Thomas Kojrowicz
This week it is being made clear that recovery efforts are still needed on a daily basis, even almost four months after flood waters desolated South East Queensland.
As part of National Volunteer Week, Karalee residents Dale and Frank Sorpassa are getting their lives back in order with the help from Habitat for Humanity Australia’s volunteer program Brush With Kindness.
While being in and out of palative care amongst this mess, Dale is lost for words in the gratitude the couple are experiencing from volunteers.
“I can’t say enough. I can’t say thank you enough,” she said.
Dale grieves over the number of people who are still in the same position as herself and Frank.
“These people give up their time to do this,” she said.
“Contact your church groups – because there are just so many people that need as much help as we do and they don’t know where to turn.”
Five years ago, like many others, the Sorpassas purchased their property with flood insurance included on the clause, and with the knowledge of how close 1974 floodwaters had crept to where their front door stands today.
Fast forward to the present day, Dale and Frank are at the receving end of a no-benefits road, relying solely on the help of volunteers.
Dale says the procedure to obtain a required minimum of two builders quotes is unreasonable and is holding back people who are in the same situation as The Sorpassa’s.
“Many people don’t know how to go about getting a builder’s quote,” she said.
“There’s so much red tape that’s been put on them.”
Faith vs. Hope
Dale and Frank are not alone, as with the help of Habitat for Humanity Australia’s volunteers, it will be close to three weeks before they can go home for the first time in nearly four months.
The team includes local, national and international volunteers.
Frank Kennedy is holidaying with his wife in Queensland, plannig his trip around being available for the project.
“There’s alot of grey nomads on the road and I know a lot of them do look out for these opportunities,” he said.
“We’ve found it quite rewarding. Its wonderful.”
Two Californian volunteers, Bob and Joyce Daugherty, are here for much the same reason.
“We have a former exchange student living in Queensland… and we asked,” said Joyce.
“I get the hug from the people that we’ve helped, the tears when they see us leave. Their tears. I get friendships.”
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