Thursday, January 20, 2011

East Highland still digging out of flood – come on down

By John Andrews
Director, Department of Communications

Many of us have enjoyed the recent return to more typical Southern California weather. It puts the torrential rainstorms of last month a little further in our rearview mirror.

Not so for the folks on
Merris St
and the surrounding neighborhood in East Highland where St. John Bosco Mission is located. Their days are still spent digging out homes and properties that were deluged by the mudslides that resulted from the rain.

Providentially, St. John Bosco received minimal damage in the flood. A good thing because the community center there has served as a gathering place and a resource for residents and those who come daily to help remove the mud – sometime a shovel-full at time. A few families who were displaced by the mudslides actually lived in the center in the immediate aftermath of the disaster.

Despite the physical destruction there, God’s presence is strongly felt in the hope and generosity of the people.

Hundreds continue to come to the area to help, offering food, clothing, water or their own “elbow grease” w/shovel. The business community, public servants and the faith community have all played a part.

Henrietta Chavez
I visited the area this week and there is obviously much work left to do there. Henrietta Chavez and other members of the Ladies Prayer Group at St. John Bosco have logged serious hours at the center. They prepare and serve food to the many who are there digging out the streets and yards, and they receive and distribute donated goods.

While Chavez and others from the Mission have been heavily involved in the recovery, the participation of Catholics beyond that has been low in comparison to other faith groups who have come to help.

Perhaps the need was not well publicized. And there, finally, is the point of this posting. This community needs still needs our help! If you are able to donate food, clothing or water, or if you are willing to roll up your sleeves and help dig, please go to
28991 Merris Street
in Highland. Henrietta will surely find something for you to do. 

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