In 2005, Elan Ministries established a disaster relief branch of the ministry in response to the tragic destruction of the Gulf Coast caused by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Thus, HisHands2Go came into being with a 10 year commitment to assist churches and individuals in re-establishing themselves in their community. We have upheld this commitment by hosting the flood of volunteers that have come to serve and connecting them with churches, families, and individuals in need of assistance. Since 2005, HisHands2Go has hosted more than 4,000 volunteers, which calculates to over 120,000 man hours of labor! The number of churches, families, and individuals assisted is in the hundreds.
The 10 yr. anniversary of Hurricane Katrina was celebrated in 2015, marking the conclusion of HisHands2Go's commitment. However, the need for community re-development remains strong, and HisHands2Go continues to offer restoration services to our neighbors and mission trip opportunities to volunteers.
HH2G has two major roles in the restoration process:
Facilitate: HH2G has two main goals: 1) to assist churches and residents in the restoration process at no charge and without directives, 2) provide opportunities for volunteers to grow and develop individually and as a team. Our method of facilitating the restorative process is to offer affordable lodging and meals to volunteers, equip them with tools, and connect them with the residents and churches in need of assistance. This connection fosters physical, emotional, and often spiritual support to the folks receiving assistance, and an opportunity for the volunteers to grow individually and bond as a team.
Support: Our staff works closely with the churches and homeowners as they walk the many steps of rebuilding their properties. The maze of building codes, funding, and stages of rebuilding can be confusing to sift through, and often folks we assist are not physically capable of accomplishing the work themselves. Not only does HH2G offer physical labor, but also a shoulder to lean on and an ear to listen to the unique stories of their lives.
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Rev. Larry Swift came down to New Orleans early in 2006 to help pastors and families rebuild. His plan was to serve for a week and then go back to upstate New York and continue with business activities. However, the Lord had other ideas for him, and he returned to New Orleans a couple more times. By mid 2006 he was serving with HH2G and other group related ministries full time. Larry looks forward to continued participation in what God is doing through His church and faith based ministries in NOLA as the neighborhoods are rebuilt one church, one family, and one business at a time.
From Fort Wayne, IN, Suzanne made her first journey to New Orleans in June of ’07. She jumped atan opportunity to serve in New Orleans for just a summer, but instead chose to relocate to New Orleans and become an intern of Elan Ministries, and later a staff member. Suzanne currently serve as the hospitality coordinator for HH2G, and counts it a true privilege to accommodate the volunteers that come so that they in turn can enhance the lives of the homeowners they work for.