Catastrophic Relief Alliance @ Franklin & Marshall College


Planned relief trip to Bastrop TX, to help rebuild after September 2011 wildfires.

Dates: January 3-11, 2013


Planes, trains & automobiles: Seats are currently being held for these flights.

Delta  1545 03JAN TH    Philadelphia-Atlanta        10:30A-1:03P

Delta  2066 03JAN TH    Atlanta-Austin            1:55P-3:20P

Delta  1308 11JAN FR    Austin-Atlanta            8:00A-11:15A

Delta  1761 11JAN FR    Atlanta-Philadelphia        12:20P-2:24P   


Those leaving from Lancaster can take Amtrak/SEPTA to the Philly airport. Those living close enough to the airport may choose to be dropped off. We will most likely take Amtrak Keystone 600, departs 7:06am arrives 8:19am. For those connecting or leaving from 30th Street Station, we will most likely take the SEPTA Airport Line departing at 9:04am, arriving at Gate (not yet known) at 9:24am. To-from Philly airport costs are to be covered by participants. Vans will be rented in Austin for local travel.


Our host & food: BCLTRT (Bastrop County Long-Term Recovery Team) facilitates all work. See website for BCLTRT info BCLTRT also provides lodging, food and kitchen for group meals (BCLTRT provides the food, we do the cooking). Our group will be staying at Faith Village. Another group of 40-45 will be staying down the road at the Methodist church. That group will overlap with our group through January 5, and we will combine for meals. After Jan 5, at present CRA will be the only volunteer group until we leave Jan 11. Faith Village will have cots, showers, restrooms, washers and dryers. All food costs will be covered while at the Village. Participants will cover food costs on travel days. There is a very good chance we will join F&M Houston-Austin alums for our Sunday, Jan 6 dinner.


Types of work? Do I need skills? Work may be anything excluding licensed work like plumbing or electrical, and may include framing, drywall, flooring, roofing, siding, painting, installing doors and windows, and carpentry of finish work. Work could be on 2 or 3 homes around 20-30 miles from our lodging. While it's wonderful if participants have work experience, skills aren't necessary! We will have plenty of leaders on-site to show basic and intermediate skills. While you will work hard, there will be plenty of time for rest & relaxation.


What can you tell me about Bastrop? We will land in Austin then drive about 50 miles to our lodgings. Our jobsites are around Bastrop, about 15 miles from lodgings. Wildfires in September 2011 destroyed 3400 acres and 1600 homes. More info about the wildfires can be found here .. .  BCLTRT has a wonderful "year later" video here .. . Bastrop is a small Texas town with a population of around 7300 "featuring the small shops and old-fashioned architecture typical of rural towns." More info here ..,_Texas .  Our lodgings are in Smithville, another small town with a population around 4000. Smithville is the "Heart of Megalopolis" (good to know they have a sense of humor!),_Texas


What do need to bring? Jeans, t-shirts and sneakers are fine. Some prefer work boots. Work gloves are good to have. Temperatures in January can range 40-80 degrees, but will most likely be in around 50. We're not sure if work will be inside or outside, so it's always best to be prepared. Travel light, since checked baggage costs $25. Most participants have been able to survive quite nicely with carry-on baggage.


How do I sign up? Cost will be $150 per participant. We will need to commit to Delta airlines by December. Registration will begin after Fall break. Costs can be paid by cash, or check to "Franklin & Marshall College". Payment is made at the Ware Institute in Steinman Hall. You will be asked to sign a Policy and Waiver. BCLTRT will have additional forms to sign, and we will try to complete their forms before our arrival.