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My husband and I, along with a friend, were assigned to dig out a garage. The house had mostly survived, but the garage was full of mud. We had about 10 people working together.

The owners were two Japanese sisters who had inherited the house from their grandparents and had rented it out. They told us to toss most of the garage contents, which we did.

However, after we cleaned out most of the garage, we finally tackled a small room in the back.  The mud had penetrated the bottom of the room and destroyed most of the furniture. Fortunately, we found many family heirlooms, which had been stored on shelfs and had survived. The grandparents had stored several antique Japanese dolls dressed in beautiful silk kimonos in large mahogany and glass cases. We also found family scrapbooks with multigenerational group pictures. The sisters were thrilled to find these family keepsakes, especially the pictures of their ancestors. I think this discovery was the silver lining to their story. Without the mudslide, they might have forgotten about these heirlooms.

I am sure you will hear this often, but the Bucket Brigade healed not only those who were directly impacted, but also those who needed to find a tangible way to help others. Thank you for all your generous hearts, leadership and strength when we needed it most.

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