Vermont volunteers rebuild a Jackson Co. woman's home

By Patrice Clark - bio | email

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - A new home is something Arthurene Pittman thought would never happen in her lifetime. Katrina's wind and water nearly destroyed her old house in the Three Rivers community. With no insurance and zero funds, she and her two grandchildren were in a tough situation.

"We still had to live in it. We had no place to go," Pittman said.

Luckily, she met a United Methodist Disaster Response group that called on a Vermont team to volunteer free labor. The team happily accepted the challenge.

"We are not red states or blue states, we are the United States. We are all brothers and sisters and we need to be working with each other," volunteer Tony Lamb said.

"We all have places to live, so we should be out here helping somebody else,"  volunteer Charlie Magill said.

This is Sally Krebs' first day, and her job is to hammer on the hurricane straps.

"I don't have a profession or great skill, I just feel like doing what I can to help," Krebs said.

And the free labor isn't the only gift for Pittman. The Vermont group raised more than $50,000 to provide the building materials used in the reconstruction.

"Everybody stepped up, and we had people do garage sales. One guy did a Oyster soup supper, just a lot of different fundraisers."

The group hopes to finish the house in three weeks.

"I never had anybody do anything for me. I always had to do it myself. I feel like it is a blessing from God," Pittman said.