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May 2010

Volume 2, Issue II

LARRI Lakeshore Area Regional Recovery of Indiana Special points of interest: •

Do you want to volunteer? Turn to page 3 for ways to help during the month of April!

Turn to page 3 to see photos of past volunteers - this could be YOU!

Be sure to check us out on Twitter, YouTibe and Facebook! Turn to page 4 for more information!

▪Restoring Homes ▪ Restoring Hope ▪ A day in the life: Construction Site Supervisor

Mark Schmiedl by Kasie Tenbarge Meet Mark Schmiedl, Construction Site Supervisor. A resident of Lansing, Ill., Mark first became involved with LARRI as a Volunteer, along with his wife, son and step-son, who also continue to volunteer and work for LARRI. This week, he is coordinating projects in 17 homes. Background: Mark has been

in construction since 1973. His expertise in the industry has been invaluable in helping coordinate multiple construction projects and groups of volunteers with various levels of experience.

enough.” He will wrap up his day anywhere between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m., depending on the work that needs to get finished. “Each day is different, it is always interesting,” he states.

A typical day on the job: Arriving at the job site at 6:30 a.m., Mark sets up tools and equipment, trains both skilled and unskilled volunteers on what jobs need to be done at each home, and communicates with any sub-contractors that may be on site. The number of volunteers at each site varies greatly, from three volunteers at some homes to 15 at others. Mark says that his goal throughout the day is to, “Keep the work out of the hands of the homeowners. They have been through

The role of volunteers: Mark has the opportunity to work with volunteers of all skill levels, and from many different organizations, backgrounds of experience and locations. Anyone can volunteer, and since there are so many different types of jobs to be done, any and all help is much appreciated. Many volunteers are local residents, while some come to LARRI from larger organizations, such as AmeriCorps. Since See: Day in the life, Page 3

Home Depot partners with LARRI By Kasie Tenbarge Construction teams from LARRI regularly turn to Home Depot to get the supplies they need to rebuild homes. Ed Schultze noticed, and was quick to connect the organization to the Home Depot ProDesk service. Schultze is the Home Depot ProSales Manager for the Midwest Region, and helped

LARRI to partner with all four local Home Depot store ProDesks—Valparaiso, Hammond, Merrillville and Schererville—in order to ensure that construction teams “receive the most personal service and volume pricing every time they come into the store.” Also, because LARRI is a non-profit, the organization is able to receive a rebate on a certain percentage of

materials purchased. This means that more materials can be purchased for the use of restoring flood damaged homes in Northwest Indiana. The ProDesk service is only one of many ways that Home Depot and its employees have been busy helping LARRI for the last several months. A crew from the local stores See: Home Depot, Page 2

Inside this issue: LARRI Railcat Day

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How YOU can help!

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Volunteer Photos

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Letter from the Director

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Page 2

Home Depot volunteered and custom-built a showroom of Home Depot products in the LARRI office to assist homeowners in selecting appropriate goods and materials. Ed Schultze, ProSales Midwest Region Manager, forefront, working on client showroom.

On a larger level, Team Depot, which is a group of Home Depot volunteers comprised of staff from local and regional stores, has volunteered to help with some rebuilds at many different sites. Schultze himself continues to go out and work on many homes affected by the floods, helping to

Client Showroom

Continued from page 1 measure for materials, and get everyone the supplies that they need to do the construction work necessary to restore homes. He recalls one particular home that he was helping to rebuild in Valparaiso with a Team Depot volunteer group.

“Keep the work out of the hands of the homeowners. They have been through enough,” -Mark Schmield

Continued from page 1 very impressed by how organized LARRI is, and how much they can accomplish while they are here. Most memorable moments: LARRI has been involved in two complete home rebuilds, and these experiences are what Mark feels really captures why he chose to work full time for the organization. “Seeing these people; families, finally get

Upcoming Events Please Join Us! •

He continued, “LARRI’s work is very professional and of high quality. I want to make sure that we can help as many people as we possibly can.”

As the home was gutted and rebuilt, Schultze had the opportunity to meet the homeowners. He remembers, “The gratitude that these people showed towards Home Depot and LARRI being there, coming in to help; to make things

Day in the life Mark feels that they bring a different perspective to the work of LARRI in Northwest Indiana. “These volunteers are some of the most sympathetic to what happened to these people here, and they say all the time how they cannot believe the amount of damage that these areas have sustained.” He also said that the AmeriCorps volunteers are always

happen for them—it was very memorable.”

Railcats Day: Saturday, May 22

A portion of ticket sales helps benefit LARRI clients. To purchase your Railcats tickets for LARRI Day at the ball park, call: (219) 836 - 1325 x102

back in a house to call their own. The homeowners were so thankful they were tearful.” Mark is truly passionate about helping people and about getting construction jobs done right. When asked why he wanted to work for LARRI in the first place, he said, “LARRI is helping a lot of people, and that’s what it’s all about.


Volume 2, Issue II

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How YOU can help this month Volunteer Opportunities Volunteers are at the very heart of what we do! Below are featured volunteer opportunities for adults and families for the month of April: •

Purchase tickets to attend the Railcats LARRI Day on May 22; sign up to pass out LARRI literature and help with our Railcats drawing! (May 22; Families)

Cook meals at home to be brought to our volunteer houses (Everyday; Families)

Clean homes occupied by volunteers. (Weekends; Families)

Construction at home sites, both skilled and unskilled workers welcome! We will train you! (Monday - Saturday; Adults)

Please call or e-mail Rhonda Carlson, Volunteer Coordinator, at (219) 836-1325 or rcarlson@larri.info to sign up for these opportunities. Thank you!

Volunteer Coordinator Rhonda Carlson


The Lakeshore Area Regional Recovery of Indiana committee is created in accordance with the laws of Indiana with the purpose of coordination of disaster recovery in Northwest Indiana Planning District 1 as defined by the State of Indiana, including Lake, Porter, La Porte, Jasper and Newton Counties by sharing information, simplifying residents access to services and jointly resolving cases with natural disaster-caused needs. There are still hundreds of homes in dire need of restoration. New cases come to our attention almost every day.

LARRI Lakeshore Area Regional Recovery of Indiana ▪ Restoring Homes ▪ ▪ Restoring Hope ▪

Volunteers of all skill levels are needed to help restore homes to a livable condition. We are in need of construction materials, tools, and housing for volunteer teams. To learn how you can help call: (219) 836-1325 or toll free at (877) LARRI4U. [877-527-7448]

Lakeshore Area Regional Recovery of Indiana 9200 Calumet Ave., Suite N-510 Munster, Ind. 46321 Phone: 219.836.1325 Fax: 219.836.1546 E-mail: info@larri.info

Letter from the Director Our monthly newsletter exists to further the mission of LARRI, which is to assist in recovery from disaster through the coordination of community resources, sharing of information and reconnecting lives to hope, specifically for the survivors of the September 2008 flood. We welcome suggestions for volunteers, clients, etc. that you would like to see featured in upcoming editions of the LARRI newsletter. Forward suggestions to Donna George, communications coordinator, at dgeorge@larri.info. Thanks for reading! Sincerely,

Jane Delligatti, Director Lakeshore Area Regional Recovery of Indiana

LARRI Director, Jane Delligatti


LARRI April 2010 Newsletter