Washington County Residents Receive a Helping Hand

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VERNON - Neighbors of this Washington County home are hearing the sounds of power saws and hammers these days.

Just a few months ago, it, and dozens of homes like it, were filling with flood waters.

"Buckets. I had literally buckets and in the bathroom, on my skylight, it just, it was raining," said Ferman Peterson, a Vernon resident.

Like many of his neighbors, 52 year old Ferman Peterson couldn't afford to repair his leaking roof or the rotting siding on the outside walls.

"Lord, I don't have the funds to fix it, but if you could send me somebody or something," said Peterson.

Unfortunately for Peterson and others, Washington County didn't qualify for FEMA funds. So county officials looked to charity organizations to help out.

Catholic Charities called on the "Hammers and Hearts Disaster Relief Effort" to oversee some of the home repairs.

They recruited local volunteers, as well as workers from around the region, like a group from the Community United Methodist Church out of Fruitland Park, Florida.

"The whole mission trip is to help those that need help. We don't ask why, we just go ahead and do it," said Glenn Kaye, a volunteer.

As Peterson watched his home get repaired, he couldn't thank volunteers enough.

"I appreciate every minute of it. Everything. Every morning when they come out, I said thank God it's another day, a good day, because I appreciate what they're doing for me."

Hammers and Hearts organizers plan to repair another 25 other homes and they're looking for more volunteers.

Those wanting to volunteer can find out more on www.hammersandhearts.org.