Keeping Tabs on the Keepsakes

Jonah Thompson

Volunteer Vic Civitillo reminds us even the smallest treasures can restore hope in the wake of disasters.

I came to Hattiesburg, MS, to lead Team Rubicon’s heavy equipment program for Operation Iron Bird. I really enjoy using my skills as a heavy equipment operator to help those affected by disaster, but one of the downsides is that it’s sometimes difficult to save those small items that can mean so much to a family.

Heavy equipment serves as a force multiplier for Team Rubicon in disaster zones.

As I was doing a safety assessment on a house scheduled for demolition, the house the shutters caught my eye. Upon closer inspection I noticed they were hand-carved. We made contact with the homeowner and learned her father had actually carved them over 30 years ago and they had completely forgotten about them. We managed to remove the shutters without damaging them and set them aside for the homeowner.

Salvaging hand-crafted shutters before demo’ing a home in Hattiesburg, MS.

Sometimes it’s the little things that can make all the difference to a homeowner. Heavy equipment is definitely needed, but sometimes all it takes is a pry-bar and a little heart to make someone’s day.

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