February 2006 – Eighty-four Katrina-ravaged homes on the Mississippi Gulf coast received Christmas gifts through a ministry called 8 Days of Hope (www.8daysofhope.com). The homes had repairs done by 693 volunteers from 37 states and a few foreign countries.
“When 8 Days of Hope started, the thought was to bring a handful of people to the Coast and try to help a family or two after Hurricane Katrina,” said Steve Tybor III of Tupelo, Mississippi. It would be a little personal ministry of Tybor and his father Steve Jr., of Buffalo, New York.
They planned to recruit a few friends to help, but Tybor said, “I learned that my plan is not always God’s plan!” They focused on homes where families had been able to return but had no insurance or financing for repairs.
From December 10 to 18, the volunteers installed 2, 210 pieces of sheetrock, 610 squares of roofing shingles, and 320 rolls of insulation. countless minor carpentry projects were completed and electrical work was done on 35 homes. Two semi-truckloads of furniture were distributed, and 5,000 brand new Christmas toys were delivered along with Christmas trees or poinsettias the day the volunteers departed.
“It was all for God’s glory,” said Tybor. At press time, Tybor and other organizers of the project were prayerfully considering a spring edition of 8 Days of Hope.