The Green Shirts arrive to aid storm recovery in Southern Indian - WDRB 41 Louisville News

The Green Shirts arrive to aid storm recovery in Southern Indiana

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Henryville, Ind. -- (WDRB) Victims of the deadly March 2nd tornadoes gathered Thursday night to assess how cleanup is coming nearly three months after the disaster, and some very special volunteers were on hand.

An important new group of volunteers has just arrived in Henryville. They're called the Green Shirts, and they are going to be key to the continuing recovery.

For Mark and Carol Martin,  life is a disaster - literally. The retired Presbyterian minister and his wife travel across the country visiting disaster sites, and today they're getting their first look at Henryville. They're  members of the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee - better known as the Green Shirts.

"We're part of the needs assessment group that goes in anywhere from 3 to 6 months after a disaster and tries to interview all the people that have been affected so that we get a very comprehensive idea of what their unmet needs may be," said Mark Martin.

The Green Shirts are specially trained to assess storm damage. For the next two weeks, the Martins and their team will set up drop-in centers across the storm hit region, as well as go door-to-door gathering information.

"We also want to hear about their personal experiences, where they're hurting. We're talking about needs, not just needs of housing or furnishings, but what are their emotional needs," said Martin.

The information they gather will help guide the efforts of the local long term recovery group, March 2 Recovery.

Without them and without the participation of the homeowners, we may not get as much money to help with the repair, rehab and rebuild as we would normally," said Mary Sullivan of March 2 Recovery.

"You can clear it all away and start over but it will never be quite the same," said Martin.

"No, and all the personal items that have been lost can never be restored," said Carol Martin.
The Martins, who live in Iowa, have seen it all from fires to floods. But they say they never become jaded.

"We would never, ever say, I know how it feels because there's no way, no matter how much they tell us , how much we see unless you've been through a disaster yourself," said Carol Martin."

Although the Green Shirts will be here for a couple of weeks, their impact will be felt for months and years to come.

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