How can deconstruction help flood victims? Dave Bennink tells you, and wishes for rain

This is a guest post by Dave Bennink, owner of Re-Use Consulting. 

I was born in Bellingham and have always lived in Washington. Yes, that means I’m allergic to sunlight and spend 11.23 months a year with extremely pale skin, and the other .77 months with extremely red skin. For me, there is a positive to all that rainfall and that’s river and stream kayaking. Recently, I was able to pay penance for all of that praying for rain. I helped organize a flood relief effort in Western Washington where materials from buildings that we were deconstructing and salvaging were donated to families around the Pacific Northwest.

The January floods damaged hundreds of buildings around the area and many of the homeowners didn’t have sufficient insurance to cover the repairs. A typical home may have had to replace sheetrock, insulation, wiring, wood flooring, doors, sliding glass doors, cabinets, appliances and more. My clients couldn’t help with the sheetrock and wiring by they donated almost 100 doors, over 40 cabinets and many other expensive items including a large amount of lumber and plywood. The value of these donations was in excess of $75,000!

What was I most impressed with? It was either because they donated them anonymously or because they did it in these tough economic times. This project was a real pleasure to be involved in and I met a number of good people that help people in need in all sorts of ways. I would like to publicly thank all of our donors for their generosity and pray that we don’t need to do this again next fall or witner. I do hope it keeps raining though, sorry about that!