One Word Says it All – Ben Gotian

Ben Takes his Painting VERY Seriously

Today we drove to Baton Rouge to go and work with Rebuilding Together Baton Rouge to help fix a house that someone lost during the flood that occurred this past summer. We were surprised to learn about this because the main story that happened at the time of the flood was the Presidential election which overwhelmed all other news. The supervisors found that we were a great help to finish the job faster because they had gutted the entire house by themselves without any help, and that we were the first volunteer group to help them. Some time after lunch the owner of the house came by to check on the house. After lunch, I started talking with one of the supervisors about life outside rebuilding houses, and how he goes up to New York every year to visit some family. About an hour or so later, I had a short conversation with the owner. He told me that before the flood he lived in that house for thirty years. When I asked him how much he lost from the flood, he responded with one word that made my community service all the more meaningful impact on myself and the owner: “everything”, he lost his entire home in the flood: food, a bed, irreplaceable family heirlooms. It made me appreciate everything that I have and made me think about what if, God forbid, that happened to me. Weather is indiscriminate. It has the potential to destroy everything and anyone you know and love. That truly made me appreciate everything I have and to not take anything for granted.

~ Ben Gotian is an 11th grader from New Rochelle NY and this is his second AWB trip to New Orleans.