Neighbor Helping Neighbor In Gautier - - The News for South Mississippi

Neighbor Helping Neighbor In Gautier

I had six feet of water and two walls washed out, one was wood on my back porch, and the south wall was brick," says Gautier Resident Alice Cox.

"We could not find a Brick Mason, and I was afraid to move back in. The next day he came up here, Sunday morning and said, 'Mrs. Alice, I am going to lay your brick for you.'"

Since then retired Seabee and former brick layer Allen Kruger has dedicated his time and expertise to help reconstruct a brick wall for his neighbor.

"I usually get up about 5 o'clock in the morning, and get over here about 6:30, and by 7am, I am working," says Kruger.

"Al is no spring chicken. I am 76 and he is 70, and the fact that he would come and do this for me - he has been up here almost two weeks doing the brick,"says Cox.

But just like Cox, Kruger's home was obliterated by the storm. Volunteers from across the U.S. stepped in to help restore his place. Now Kruger is lending his helping hands and returning the favor.

"She is a neighbor, and a job like this is too small for a regular contractor," says Kruger.

He's not charging anything for his services. Instead, he's encouraging his neighbor to pass on the gift of generosity to others in need.

"It is important that we all get back in our homes, and get our life back together," says Kruger.

Kruger's wife Barbara agrees. That's why she decided to carry some of the load to help her husband complete this task.

"I'm totally blessed to have what we have and are able to help others, especially at our ages," says Barbara Kruger.

So what's next for the Krugers?

"When I finish this job, I will probably help somebody else - preferably a senior citizen," says Kruger.

Allen Kruger says he should have the brick wall completed by the end of the week. Mrs. Cox is expecting move back into her home in two weeks.

By Patrice Clark

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