Illinois Volunteers Make Rebuilding Homes Top New Year's Resolution

"I don't want to go to the past, I want to go toward the future. And the Convoy of Hope is helping us to do that," Marshelle Rush says as she stands outside her newly renovated home.

2007 means a new year and a fresh start for Marshelle Rush and her four kids, thanks to the work of these volunteers from LaGrange, Illinois. Each new nail brings the group one step closer to completing work to repair the Rush's hurricane ravaged home

"They wanted to come down here, help out, and put their good will to work," LaGrange Christian Assembly volunteer member Harmony LaBeff says.

While, most of these volunteers didn't have previous construction experience they've quickly learned their way around the tools of the trade.

"All of it is totally new to me and at least half of the people. A couple of the guys are pretty good at tiling, we've been putting baseboards in, a few people have been doing some roofing, we're moving some furniture, we're doing some painting, calking," LaBeff says.

As workers continue to put the final touches on the Rush Family's roof, their job is almost done for the day. And when the job is over, one of the volunteers says he plans to share a very special talent with the people of South Mississippi.

"When I found out I was coming down here, at the last minute I got a hold of a couple of venue owners. I could never pass up a chance to share some tunes, so I traveled down here with my acoustic guitar, and I'm ready to rock out tomorrow night at the Celtic," LaBeff says.

LaBeff promises he's more handy with a guitar than a caulk gun. But the Rush family doesn't mind. They're just happy to start off 2007 on the path back home.

"If it weren't for this group, we just wouldn't be here, we just wouldn't," Rush says.

Harmony LaBeff will be playing at the Celtic in Pascagoula tomorrow night at 8 p.m. His show is free, and he says he can't wait to share his music with a local crowd. As for his group of volunteers, they will continue rebuilding in the Moss Point area through the end of the week. By end of the month, the Rush family hopes to be completely moved into their home.