The hurricane hammered the Florida Keys as a category four hurricane with sustained winds over 130 mph. Irma destroyed countless miles of coastline and displaced thousands of residents.
Saturday morning, September 30th, the entire brotherhood loaded onto two buses and headed for the ARC Disaster Response Camp on Big Pine Key.
Said the chapter:
"We were not prepared for the extent of damage surrounding us on our journey. The moment we entered the Keys the buses went silent.
As we ventured further into town we saw homes destroyed, trailers flipped over, boats capsized and washed ashore, and mountains of debris piled along the iconic overseas highway. For almost two hours we drove through incomprehensible destruction. We were truly in an immense disaster zone. When we arrived at the American Red Cross Disaster Response Camp we were split up into groups to start clearing debris. The first home we were assigned to was still in tact, but the property surrounding the structure looked as if an entire forest was ground up and sprayed out around the perimeter of the house.
One of our brothers called the homeowner to inform him we were there and ready to offer what assistance we could. He immediately began tearing up on the phone due to how grateful he was for the help.
Seeing someone tear up as you come to their aid is an extremely powerful encounter. As rewarding as this experience was, the scariest part about it is we worked for hours and could only clear a handful of homes.
There are 79,000 people who live in the keys. 85 men in one day were only able to make a minor impact, imagine what it will take to help thousands still in need. Our efforts are not over. Our donation page will be open throughout the year and we ask you to contribute anything you can.
South Florida is close to all of our hearts and our progress is just beginning. With your continued support, our brothers hope to continue offering assistance to the Florida Keys and expanding our aid to Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. The more we work to offer assistance the more we come to know the spirit of the men and women continuing to rebuild after an unbearable hurricane season."