Local Charities Need Money and Volunteers to Help Fix Flood Damage

By: Bergen Baucom Email
By: Bergen Baucom Email

Vernon- Residents with significant home damage have been depending on organizations like Catholic Charities of Northwest Florida, United Methodist of Southern Alabama and Western Florida, and Hammers and Hearts to help them get back on their feet.

"Once we get a list of all the affected properties, Hammers and Hearts will go out and do a damage assessment on the needs of the affected family" Ben Tarpley, Founder of Hammers and Hearts explained.

Hammers and Hearts determined the time, materials and skill sets needed for volunteers to do the job and how much it will cost. Houses on the list were prioritized by the elderly, disabled and or if small children lived inside the home.

"This particular family, one of the members of the family is confined to a wheelchair. [They] have an illness that's probably going to get worse before it get's better," he said. At the home, the roof had caved in and caused severe leaks, mold and mildew.

"If I have the right group that comes in, this house can probably be repaired in a week," Tarpley said, looking over his shoulder at the home. "Cost of damage on this home is probably going to be around $3500."

But, there were more than 20 homes on the list just like it. Because of that, Tarpley told us they desperately needed donations and volunteers.

"I just wish that people could realize just how much these people are really hurting and reach out," Tarpley said. If they can't reach out in the way of volunteering, maybe support us financially."

So far, the group has raised $10,000 but Tarpley said they needed $100,000 to complete the list. Actual repair work will not begin until October and officials with the organizations told us they could not get enough.

To donate your time or money, contact the United Way of Washington County about the disaster relief for a long term recovery organization. All checks can be made out to the United Way of Washington County, again- referenced to long term recovery organizations.


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