The deployment to Southwest Florida is shaping up to be the largest and longest continuous deployment Immediate Response has made. Our immediate response team quickly extended the initially planned two-week deployment to an entire month because of the tremendous need.
Hurricane Ian struck the Southwest Florida coastline, with its densely packed and elderly population, as a Category 4 storm on September 28. The residents in this area are predominately retired transplants from the northeastern United States without family nearby to rely upon, causing them to depend even more heavily on outside sources of help, such as God’s Pit Crew and other ministries.
As of November 16, 2022, God’s Pit Crew identified and assessed 278 projects, with 203 jobs completed. In addition, more than 250 additional families have asked for help, either by email, phone calls, or just walking into the local headquarters here in Port Charlotte. Our teams also fielded referrals from other ministries for jobs beyond their capabilities, either from a lack of necessary equipment or personnel without the specific skillset needed.
Since the beginning of the deployment, 169 volunteers have signed in to work in Port Charlotte, with an average of 44 volunteers per day.
Hurricane Ian Testimony
Here is the testimony of Teresa, who shared a touching story about how God’s Pit Crew helped her when she needed it the most.
Teresa said our Crew had been back to the house three times to complete the job. She’s so happy they didn’t move on to someone else and forget about her.
Through the shedding of tears, Teresa said,
“It means the world to me for God’s Pit Crew’s Crew to be here helping me. I lost my husband recently, and I had no one to turn to for help. I didn’t know what I was going to do. I work from home and haven’t been able to do so since Hurricane Ian because all of the trees have knocked out the internet. I had tree removal companies give me quotes on cutting my downed trees, and the cheapest was $16,000. Since my husband’s death, I am now surviving on one income, and I do not have the resources to pay for that.
Chris and his team have also helped my aging, disabled neighbors in the same situation as me. This brings me so much joy and comfort because I couldn’t help them with their trees because I couldn’t even help myself.
God’s Pit Crew’s team has comforted me. I can’t stop crying.
They mean the world and are a blessing, and I could never repay them.
They are so kind, and their feelings are in their work. They’re not here just as a job. They’re here because they love to serve.
I haven’t slept all night since the Hurricane because of all the worry about the dangerous trees down everywhere and inability to work for income. I slept all night for the first time since the storm after your team came to help me. My spirit was able to rest because they assured me they are here for me and taking care of all of this for me.”