In September 2017, Hurricane Irma caused extensive damage in southwestern Florida. Flooding and high winds caused damage to many homes throughout the city of LaBelle. Many in the community, particularly low-income families, have been living in very poor conditions since the storm hit. Teams of volunteers are needed to clean and repair homes and make them safe to live in once again.
This site is open from January 12, 2019–April 13, 2019.
Teams can assist with drywall, painting, roofing, flooring, mold removal, and demolition/clean-out. World Renew DRS leaders, known as facilitators, will be on site to welcome you, provide leadership in work projects, and connect you with our local partner organization, the Florida United Methodists. The area around Labelle is ethnically diverse, with some people in the area speaking primarily Spanish.
Teams stay at the Riverside Camp and Retreat Center, a 200-acre riverfront camp property. Willis Dorm offers housing for up to 32 volunteers in bunk beds (two bunkrooms that sleep 16 people each). There are restrooms with showers connected to each room, a central common room, a large kitchen, and on-site laundry. Teams can also request access to the swimming pool on site.
Meals: Each group will be responsible for planning, cooking, and cleaning up after its own meals.
World Renew has allocated funds to completely cover the cost of housing groups at this site. Your group is responsible for travel and food costs. Construction materials are provided by our site partners. Donations are always appreciated to help reduce expenses.
World Renew DRS recommends bringing the following:
Sleeping Bag/Pillow/Sheets/Blanket (for sleeping on bunk beds w/ mattress)
Towel and bathroom items
Swimsuit and towel
Closed-toe shoes for job sites
At least one pair of jeans/pants for some job sites
Work gloves, safety glasses, dust masks
Casual clothing for “downtime”
Games/Frisbee/football/free time activities
A general packing list can be found on page nine of Preparing to Serve, a guide compiled by World Renew DRS. Materials and basic tools are provided and coordinated by the local construction coordinator. Skilled tradesmen are encouraged to bring their own tools if possible; this should be discussed with the local site coordinator during the planning process.
Generally, high school age and older are welcome. Groups that include youth must have an appropriate adult-to-youth ratio and adults who are able to supervise youth for work projects. It is helpful to have a couple of people with construction experience in your group, but this is not required. The local construction coordinator will provide guidance on work projects.
If you would like to learn more about the RCA's volunteer opportunities for individuals and groups, please get in touch with us.
Coordinator for Volunteer Engagement
Volunteer Placement Specialist
Cultivate is a program for 18- to 25-year-olds to partner with RCA missionaries for a summer or a full year and see how God is at work in another part of the globe.