PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG) - Immediately following Hurricane Michael, Samaritan's Purse deployed a team of disaster relief specialists to help families recover from the storm. Months later, the group is still in our area and doesn't plan on leaving anytime soon.
Samaritan's Purse trailer outside the rebuilt home. (WJHG/WECP)
For this week's Everyday Heroes, we show you how the organization is helping out.
"I've lived here for 65 years," 92-year-old Laurice Miller said.
She's lived in the same home in Panama City since 1962.
"I lost about everything in it [Hurricane Michael]. Two pine trees fell on it, wet all my carpet, they had to take it up. Of course, it ruined my bedroom, all my furniture, all the ceilings fell down," Miller said.
With no insurance, Ms. Miller didn't know what to do. Enter Samaritan's Purse, a faith-based organization.
"Our disaster relief quickly responded to Wewahitchka, Florida and then about a month later to Panama City, Florida," Samaritan's Purse Volunteer Coordinator Heather Thomas said.
In their initial response, more than 4,000 volunteers helped more than 2,000 families with emergency repairs, debris removal, and mud-outs of homes with severe flood damage. Now the organization is in their rebuilding phase. Ms. Miller isn't the only person receiving help after the hurricane. Samaritan's purse plans to help rebuild about 79 homes.
Samaritan's Purse continues to help Florida families recover from Hurricane Michael with home rebuild and repair teams based in Panama City.
"To come and be her hands and feet and to bring her the hope and encouragement of Jesus to be able to say you're not forgotten, because the devastation is overwhelming, sometimes where do you even begin," Samaritan's Purse Volunteer, Vicky Babcock said.
Ms. Miller said she's so blessed to have Samaritan's Purse helping out.
"Oh, it made me cry," Miller said.
But volunteers feel blessed too.
"It's just very, very rewarding. obviously, that's why we just keep coming back, because we leave with full hearts, not only did we help, but we are full from helping," Babcock said.
These Everyday Heroes know recovering from a storm like Hurricane Michael doesn't take weeks or months, it takes years and their teams are committed to helping out as long as it takes.
For families still in need of assistance, you can contact Samaritan's Purse at 850-867-7347 to learn more about the process. Volunteers are also needed.
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