One Small Favor

Claire M. Zajac

Greyshirts apply a little ingenuity to answer a Hurricane Ian survivor’s tiny wish.

In October, I was working with a site survey team in Charlotte County, FL. Hurricane Ian had rolled through there just a month earlier, and I had come down from Wisconsin to serve with Team Rubicon in response. 

The last Wednesday in October, we rolled up to Susan’s house—a double-wide trailer that sustained significant damage both inside and out. After touring her property and interviewing Susan, the slight-of-build, elderly homeowner asked if we could do her just one favor: Could we comb through the wreckage of her lanai and find a blue afghan she had just completed for her niece, who is like a daughter to her? 

We stood there for a minute contemplating. Our team did not have the PPE we’d need to climb into the heap of debris that now was her lanai. We did, however, have a TR chainsaw team in the neighborhood. So, we called them over. 

When the chainsaw team arrived, Sawyers Mo and Jay cheerfully agreed to help, jumped in, and promptly found the afghan. Susan was so happy, and there were hugs all around. Despite the chaos and destruction all around, a little TR teamwork helped this homeowner find a bright spot in the middle of her own adversity.

Greyshirt site survey and sawyer teams with a homeowner in Charlotte County, FL.
  • Reflection

    A Better Tomorrow

    A volunteer responding to tornadoes in Ohio gets a glimpse at the hidden value of the work Greyshirts do.

  • Preparedness

    How to Prepare Your Pets for Disaster

    From leashes for Fido to carriers for Kitty, here are our top disaster preparedness for pets tips to add to your emergency planning now.

  • Feature Story

    Serving World Health Means Innovating

    From Haiti to Ukraine, for World Health Day, we look at where we've delivered disaster relief and humanitarian aid over the past 14 years, and how far we have to go.

Read More Stories