Kansas Volunteers Repair Hurricane Damaged Homes - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Kansas Volunteers Repair Hurricane Damaged Homes

What Katrina didn't do, time and the elements has done to the Fortenberry home in Gulfport.  

"It rained yesterday, and actually the roof came in," says Darrell Fortenberry.

Darrell and his father tried many avenues to get help in repairing their home. After 11 months, they've finally found it.   

"I was like, 'Oh man,'" says Fortenberry. "I was so happy to see them. I was outside and the truck pulled up and everything and there they were. I was like, 'Oh my God,' cause I was so happy to see them."

The group of 25 youths and 10 adult sponsors are from the First Mennonite Church in Newton, Kansas.

"Nothing has been done on this house since the storm, which is hard to believe," says Team Leader Jordan Miller. "And there's ceiling falling down. Inside, the floor is rotten in places. This family needs a lot of help and we're out to help them."

Coordinated through Lutheran Disaster Services, the group is sacrificing their last week of summer vacation.

"Soon as we get back, they've all got three or four days before they head back to the classroom," says Miller.

They're helping the still hurting victims of last summer's natural disaster.

"A mission is a part of our faith and these kids want to experience a different culture," says adult sponsor Tim Wiens. "They'd like to see the ocean and they'd like to be part of the mission. They want to do God's work here and help bring a little hope to people."

It's a mission Darrell Fortenberry says they've already accomplished.

"I'm real happy about it. These guys come out there and they don't have to do this, but they're volunteers. And, I mean, that's just a blessing in itself."

Lutheran Disaster Response provided the materials for the repair project. The group returns to Kansas on Saturday.

by Don Culpepper

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