Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Most people know someone who has been affected by a natural disaster. A lot of the time, recovering takes people who are willing to volunteer their time.
Woman Travels Around the U.S. Helping Disaster Victims
Retired Texas native Betzi Yungclas travels to help in flood relief areas
Lana Harris, wltx 6:50 PM. EDT August 26, 2016
"Disasters come and they're unexpected," said Betzi Yungclas, a long term volunteer with the United Church of Christ Disaster Ministries. "It's a force of nature, we can't control it."
When a natural disaster strikes, Yungclas is there.
"It gives me something to do that's important, that I feel like I'm helping somebody and not just home twiddling my thumbs," Yungclas said.
Yungclas has not been to her home in Texas in awhile.
"I'm rarely there because I'm usually out on the road doing this kind of work," Yungclas said.
The work is construction. Yungclas retired as an engineer in 2003, and does not do this to make a living.
It has just given a new meaning to her life.
"I have the opportunity, I have the skills, I have the time," Yungclas said.
At 63-years-old, Yungclas travels around the United States helping victims of natural disasters rebuild their homes. It all started in 2009 after seeing how devastated the victims of Hurricane Katrina were four years after the disaster.
"I had some friends who lived in New Orleans, so I knew that there was still a lot of work to do there," Yungclas said.
Yungclas has previously done work in Louisiana, Texas, Florida, Missouri, and West Virginia. Now finds herself in the midlands rebuilding homes from flood damage.
"Yea, it's something else isn't it?" laughs Tim Sheaffer, the project manager for the Disaster Recovery Support Initiative, a national effort that is now here in Columbia.
Sheaffer says volunteers usually come and go.
"Some may only do it for a month or two at a time, some for a few months a year," Sheaffer said, "there are not so many like Betzi that do it full time."
Yungclas says she does not do it for anything in return, gratitude is enough.
"Just 'thanks' is plenty," Yungclas said.
Because not all heroes wear capes. Sometimes, they are just regular people with the heart to help others.
Yungclas says she plans to be here at least until October, and is probably headed back to Louisiana to help the victims in Baton Rouge.
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