After delivering gas and propane for a week, the immediate need was over. We started assessing the damage at our own place after power was restored. Then we rested, because no one can respond at lightening speed forever. This aligns with one of our Agile Principles: Agile processes promote sustainable development. The sponsors, developers, and users should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely.
We decided to drive back to Virginia to pickup our dogs, as well as the items that had been offered before we left, and rented the largest U-Haul trailer available. We let people know we would have room for more donations. We're still not sure whether that was a great idea, because we went from a few things to completely overflowing. We filled the back of the truck with water and bleach, and the trailer with EVERYTHING the hurricane victims might need. Or so we thought. We had no idea what was about to happen.
See, my agile mindset gives me qualities that might not exist otherwise. I'm intellectually curious, adaptive to change, and always look to add value. So when I heard that an elderly couple needed mattresses because they lost part of their roof, we invited family members and friends to help her out and they came through! We delivered them late on a Sunday, driving through debris and downed trees to get to her house.
3 soaked mattresses came down 2 flights of stairs and 3 clean mattresses went back up. Betty was so appreciative that she insisted on giving us money "for a nice dinner". She also said "you guys are good at this, you should move furniture for a living."
My husband and I laughed and said no way! We decided to spend the night but the only vacancies were almost an hour south in Key West. So we headed back north the next morning with Marc driving while I worked, delivering supplies to people in Big Coppitt, Summerland and Ramrod Key.
The destruction was overwhelming, so we were amazed when every single person took a few supplies and told us to give the rest to someone who needs it more. Over and over again, the people of the Keys - who were in desperate need - thought of others first.
Why was that? I believe it's because they have a huge sense of community, and it's expensive to live there so they've learned to make do with very little. Great lessons for all of us!
We ended our trip at an apartment complex in Marathon, where we quickly distributed the rest. And we thought we were done. But there was more to this story.
Check out the rest of our journey in related posts!