Military members help put up roof for Long Beach resident
LONG BEACH, Miss. (WLOX) - Mississippi may have been spared from the worst of Hurricane Ida, but some residents along the coast still received major damage, like Jill Smith.
Smith’s home along Meadowwood Circle in Long Beach sustained major roof damage following the storm. Ida’s winds left the older home needing around $10,000 in repairs. However, Smith said her insurance dropped her after soft spots were found in her roof.
Now, she was left with trying to pay for the repairs out of pocket while dealing with other expenses.
“Her daughter is suffering with cancer and they don’t have the extra money because the daughter lost her insurance,” family-friend Margaret Levens said.
Levens overheard the family’s struggle during a Bingo game and decided she needed to help. Levens contacted VFW 3937, American Legion Post 1995, and the organizations’ auxiliary groups to help with the cost of the supplies. Gulfport Seabees also got word of the project and volunteered their time and labor.
And when donated funds ran dry, the volunteers even chipped in to finish paying for the supplies they needed.
“We’ve got a little bit of everybody involved,” Levens said.
Levens has been a figure of service in her community since her son, Sgt. Donnie Levens, died in a helicopter crash while he was serving as a Marine.
“We have connections in construction and other stuff, so I decided I would step up and help her. It makes me feel good. Especially to know that my son enjoyed volunteering when he was stationed in Hawaii,” Levens said.
Getting service from service members was something that left Smith emotional.
“They’re so friendly and just wonderful,” Smith said. “I think it is the most wonderful thing and I am so grateful.”
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