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Volunteer stories: Omaha Rapid Response

Written by Katie Fourney    on August 27, 2019    in

The Internet is an amazing thing.

Every year, a group of Northwest Arkansas churches partner together for a mission trip and volunteer for a week. Early this summer they asked Google, ‘Where should we go? Who needs our help?’

They discovered this posting on SHARE Omaha. They were drawn to Omaha Rapid Response’s need for flood relief volunteers. Their 50 student and 20 adult volunteers could make a big difference in King Lake.

Of the 101 homes in King Lake, Omaha Rapid Response has worked on 80 homes damaged by this Spring’s flooding.

“We want to make it even better than it was pre-flood,” said Ken Gruber, Omaha Rapid Response president.

Everything that was underwater had to go: wiring, outlets, drywall and more. Most King Lake homeowners have yet to return to living in their homes, though some live in RVs on their property. The help of 70 enthusiastic and caring pairs of hands would allow residents to move home sooner.

So, the team came to Nebraska in mid-July, ready to roll up their sleeves and break a sweat. This army of “do-gooders” repaired drywall, floor joists, subflooring, weeded and landscaped at six King Lake homes.


 “We’ve got to help people,” said Melissa, an adult mission trip volunteer. “It’s just people helping people.”


“We get to go and help somebody that had something devastating happen to them,” said Martha, a high school mission trip volunteer. “Sometimes they have more hope than we do and it’s beautiful to see.”

It was an honor to visit this team of 70 as they served joyously on a 100-degree day. They brought their #NebraskaStrong and left the homes of King Lake better than they found them.

To join in the ongoing flood repair in Iowa and Nebraska, sign up to volunteer with Omaha Rapid Response now.