Dorothy may have said it, but this past Saturday, UPS, United Way, and the nearly 100 volunteers who were volunteering with SBP believed it as they witnessed the Treaudos cut the ribbon on their recently completed home.
Through the N.O. Place Like Home campaign, United Way Worldwide is donating funds to rebuild 16 homes, and is conducting an online engagement initiative to get their supporters and contributors to join the effort. The are also working with their corporate sponsors to get companies to sign on to the campaign and sponsor a home.
The first to join the ranks is none other than UPS, who sent more than 50 local volunteers to help work on the Caillouet, Toledo, Williams, and LaGrange family homes this weekend. Together, the group totaled more than 800 service hours!
The Welcome Home party for the Treaudos was a heartfelt meeting between donor, volunteers and homeowner. Yes, UPS funded the entire rebuilding of the Treaudo family home and a few UPS employees helped AmeriCorps member and site supervisor Kim Benty put the final touches on the home on Saturday. Now, nearly 5 years after the storm, the Treaudos are finally back into their home, and their UPS was there to commemorate the event.
Standing on the lawn enjoying the celebration, the crowd was in for a surprise when an unexpected UPS truck pulled up. Thinking it was a coincidence at first, it quickly became evident that we were seeing both UPS's fun side and continued generosity as they delivered a washer, drier, and hamper full of detergent for the Treaudos.
Without UPS, the Treaudos would likely still waiting to return home. They used assistance received to hire a contractor, but ran out of funds. They family -- Royce, Vernon, and their daughter and grandson have been living in the FEMA trailer since 2007.
When case manager Lisa met them, Vernon kept talking about one day having a barbecue at his home again.
In welcome the Treaudos home, Lisa said, "Well, here were are just a few months later and we're having a barbecue. I could not be happier to welcome the Treaudos home."
On behalf of the Treaudos, SBP thanks United Way and UPS for their incredible generosity, hard work and for proving that there's truly no place like home.
Click to see more photos on Flickr