The cast and crew of Guiding Light leave New York and travel to the Gulf Coast to work with the volunteers of the Hands On Network. They spend a week there helping to rebuild three homes that were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. After travelling there and touring the area, theyre shocked to see how little has actually been accomplished since the disaster; in many areas it seems as though the storm just hit.
The cast and crew travel to the Gulf Coast to help inn relief efforts.
They are split into teams and sent to work on three different houses in varying states of completion. They meet the owners of the homes. One shows them pictures of her family as they tour the damage. One tells them of how she was trapped in the house with her mother and daughter. People came to her door after the storm begging for help and, although they had nothing, they couldnt turn them away. Another woman talks about how she survived the flood by climbing on top of her refrigerator and then cutting a hole through the roof for air as the house filled with water. Gina Tognoni expresses how crushed they felt by the despair. They came down to help so that these people would know that they had not been forgotten.
Quickly, they get to work, picking up skills and using power tools, often for the first time. After an exhausting first day, they go to sleep in a gymnasium where they enjoy teasing each other like kids at camp. They get up before dawn to cook breakfast for five hundred people. After this, they travel to local schools and help out in the class room, reading stories to the children or playing with them in the gym.
Gradually they adjust, despite Kim Zimmers policing of the porta potty. Liz Keifer learns to use a nail gun, finding herself at ease with it because she knows that she is part of a team and this is new for all fo them. Marcy Rylan arrives after being sick for several days. She instantly starts to work painting the interior of a house while she and the other actresses joke around. Bradley Cole talks about how his team is the best because they did most of the insulating and drywall. Michael Dempsey and Jordan Clarke team up to do a lot of the carpentry work, installing countertops and cabinets. Clarke has been practising carpentry for nearly forty years. They manage to finish all of their work just in time.
As the families are brought back to their homes, Yvonna Wright remarks on how there are no words to describe what it is really like to help someone. As each family returns, they are given a tour. They cry with the actors, unable to believe how much has been accomplished.
Robert Newman talks to the assembled cast, crew and volunteers about how, this year, theyve brought back the poem that used to be read during the radio show and integrated it into the opening credits of the show. Everyone talks about how grateful they are to the producer for giving them this opportunity to help and make a difference in peoples lives. It has been a profound experience for them and reminded them of just how important community is. They hope that this will encourage people to volunteer in their own communities and leave their mark on other peoples lives.
You can visit Find Your Light for thirty more web episodes of the trip to the Gulf coast.