2010-02-06 / Editorials & Letters

Bowling Green ‘watchdog’ takes a break


I still have township news to write about, but felt compelled to write about something more inspiring this time. I have just returned from a mission trip to Orange City Texas. There we worked under the guidance of the excellent staff of the Fuller Center Disaster ReBuilders (FCDR). If you have never heard of this organization, please check it out on the web. The story of Millard Fuller is quite inspirational all in itself. In the 1970’s, the late Mr. Fuller, started an organization you might be more familiar with, Habitat for Humanity.

The local Team leads for our trip were (#1 Buckeye Fan) Phil Manogg and Darrrell Manifold from St John’s Lutheran Church on Linnville Road. Both of them are considered “Boomerangers,” meaning they have done this multiple times. They have the distinction of being the first team on site and the only ones that have been to the Orange City TX site three times to date. Matter of fact, Phil and Darrell have been on FCDR mission trips a total of 12 times, nine of them were to the Biloxi, Ms site.

Phil’s excellent coordination skills lead to quite a cost savings to the seven of us on this trip. He coordinated with several churches and thus we were able to stay overnight at churches in Decatur, Alabama (St. Paul’s Lutheran Church) and in Bowling Green, Kentucky (Holy Trinity Lutheran).

In the news, we hear about what’s going on in Haiti. But this is only the first phase of a natural disaster. By the time we get to Phase 2 - 4, the news will be getting old and media attention will move elsewhere. But here is where the FCDR, whose motto is REBUILDING HOMES RENEWING HOPE, really comes into play. Did you know that there are still folks that have not been able to rebuild their homes destroyed by Hurricane Katrina or Ike? YES, right here in the USA! Did you know some of these folks are still living in a FEMA trailer? There are several reasons for this. These folks are normally on the lowest economic scale, the poorest of the poor.

One home we worked on (Ms, Robinson’s) was already down to the bare walls and floor when we arrived. Our task was to install new electrical wiring, repair termite damage to the structure and install windows. Had it not been for Hurricane Ike, she would surely have lost her home anyway. WHY? Until all of the walls were exposed, she had no idea that the termites had eaten out the walls on her 1930’s historic cottage all the way up the ceiling joists. So THIS DISASTER actually turned into a BLESSING for her.

Please take the time to check out the Fuller Center and if you have time or $$ to provide, please consider them or the local fund raisers at St. John’s Lutheran Church as an option. They will have a spaghetti dinners on Friday, February 19 and Friday, March 19 from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. to help fund these trips. You can also get more information from Phil via email at pmanogg@ hotmail.com.
Will (Watchdog) Kern
Bowling Green Township

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