-- Filling a desperate need in an already ailing population of volunteers
lending their time and talents, St. Paul’s First United Methodist Church
is ready to dispatch its “Cadillac” of shower trailers to Schoharie
On Saturday, the 44-foot-long trailer-turned shower facility will “roll
out” of St. Paul’s on Sayles Street to its first stop in Middleburgh.
A walkathon will be held Sunday at the Earlville United Methodist Church
to raise funds to support the $35,000 project. The Earlville church has
set a goal of raising $8,000 to donate to the project. Project Leader
David Woodcock estimated that an outstanding balance of about $5,000
remains on the project’s expenses.
After four months, the trailer, donated by CT Express of Durhamville, has
been transformed from a typical hauler to a shower facility that will
allow volunteers to stay at disaster sites longer and be able to provide
more services to help in the recovery of devastated areas.
Six shower stalls were built in the trailer, along a narrow hallway
running the length of the space. Each shower is cordoned off with walls
and a door and accompanied by a small sink, vanity mirror, light and towel
A high-efficiency washer and dryer were also installed to allow users to do
laundry. Woodcock said a 50-foot cord will provide power to the trailer
when plugged into an electric range outlet at its destination. Propane and
sewage hookups will also provide service to the facility.
Before it leaves Saturday, the outside will be decorated with the United
Methodist Volunteers in Mission logo, along with a list of project donors.
The inspiration was born from Woodcock’s own familiarity with disaster
relief sites, experienced again in April during a trip to Middleburgh with
a dozen others from Oneida, Sherrill and the Utica areas. On that trip
volunteers relied on the pseudo-shower facilities in a janitor’s closet.
The shower trailer will be finished just in time to be used by teams
anticipated to arrive in Middleburgh June 18.
“There’s still a long way to being recovered,” Woodcock said of the
areas devastated by last year’s flooding.
Despite the gradual return of families to their homes each week, there’s
still a significant amount of work to be done. Woodcock said the group
originally estimated recovery to take two to three years. They’re now
guessing it’ll be more like five.
all stages of repair, homes still need to be mudded out, sanitized and
rebuilt. Outside of the area, few are aware of the amount of work that
remains. “It’s a big hurdle,” he said.
The need for aid continues as volunteers dwindle, Woodcock said.
Woodcock was recently named disaster coordinator for the Upper New York
Conference of United Methodist Churches, which encompasses the entire
state, outside of New York City. He will be responsible for unifying all
districts of the organization and prompting discussion and planning for
disaster relief. In order to efficiently respond to natural disasters, he
said procedures, contact information and locations for volunteer centers
are all important.
In the wake of a disaster, the scramble to coordinate volunteers always
delays a response, particularly when volunteers in the area are dealing
with the disaster personally.
Serving in the wake of disasters is important to Woodcock and others in
the St. Paul congregation.
A few months after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast, Woodcock went
to Mississippi to help.
“From there I was hooked,” he said. “There’s so much that needs to
be done and there’s so much that can be done by volunteers.”
Volunteer corps can provider faster, better orchestrated and more helpful
response than many governmental agencies, he said.
CT Express, owned by Tim Janes, has made a five-year commitment to
transport the trailer to wherever it’s needed, which can’t be
underestimated, Woodcock said. Janes came on board with the project after
being approached by Woodcock about donating a used trailer. He considered
it and when Woodcock revisited the proposal, Janes responded by showing
him a photograph of a house floating down a flooded river.
“We have to do something,” Janes said.
everyone may have a bad day once in a while, it hardly compares with the
devastation from disasters, Janes said.
Nearly 40 individuals and more than a dozen churches donated to the
project, including, Donewell Trailers, Simchik Trash Hauling, Gibb Corr
Electric, Comfort Systems, Bruce Stauffer Construction, Smith Flooring and
Decorating, GEA Farm Systems, the Gorman Foundation, Oneida Rotary, Seven
O’s, Kimes, Oneida Plumbing Supply, Ranz and Cook, City Electric, Zero
Draft, Thompson Appliances, Precision Woods, Cornue Woodworking and
To contribute to the shower trailer project or to volunteer as part of St.
Paul’s Methodist Church’s disaster response team, call the church at
Methodist Church Shower Trailer Events
A “roll out” for the disaster mobile shower trailer will take place at
2 p.m. at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church at 551 Sayles Street in
Donors to the project will be recognized and tours of the completed
facility will be offered. The trailer will ceremoniously “roll out” to
head towards its first stop in Middleburgh where disaster volunteers are
currently working on flood relief.
Checks and other donations can be made out to St. Paul’s UMC, 551 Sayles
St., Oneida, NY 13421, attn: Shower Trailer Project. “Shower Trailer
Project” should be written in the memo line of the check.