Holiday decorations shine through hardship

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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - "The little things like the lights, you don't realize it, but that's part of recovering," Millville resident Pamila Pardue said.

Other residents across town had the same idea. (WJHG/WECP)

Her roof is still leaking and her windows are still missing, but that isn't stopping Pardue from decorating her home for Christmas.

"You know, I hope everybody else can realize we can get this place back together," Pardue said.

Wooden reindeer, a blow-up Santa, and icicle lights line her house and yard. They are tokens of holiday cheer Pardue hopes will snowball in her neighborhood.

"Maybe we can get more houses down here decorated and bring a little more happiness around here," Pardue said.

Other residents across town had the same idea.

"Well, it just uplifts my spirit. You know, trying to keep believing what the holidays are really for," FEMA trailer resident Billee Brown said.

Even in a FEMA trailer, Brown set up her homemade decorations, many she found on the side of the road last year.

She's making the most of her situation. Brown is also relieved she doesn't live in a tent anymore.

"Just grateful and thankful. I'm very thankful for FEMA, I know that much," Brown said.

Folks at the community recovery center also noticed the changes.

"Everything is moving in the right direction. Things are moving positively forward," Doorways of Northwest Florida executive director Yvonne Petrasovits said.

Many Bay County residents are feeling positively hopeful

"Don't give up hope. There's always hope, and this is definitely a season of hope," Petrasovits said.

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