After living with concrete floors and a broke-down kitchen for decades, Mom just took out a 2nd mortage to finance renovations. She did the lion's share of the work herself to save money, and after many, many months of working on it, she finally finished.
Just a couple of months later, a nor'easter arrived, Irma showed up and a flash flood tore through the entire ground floor of the house.
I would've bet my life that her house wouldn't flood. It's hundreds of yards from Black Creek, above sea level and not in a flood zone. And yet it did.
The water was in every room. We did all we could to save it as soon as the creek receded enough to get to her house, but no measure of bleach and no number of borrowed dehumidifers could remove the filthy water under the floors and soaked into the walls.
Hope Force International showed up on Saturday and confirmed what we were afraid of - everything had to go. Volunteers from the Church of Eleven 22 tore out all the wet walls and floors, and now they're all sitting in a pile in front of the house along with about half the furniture. All the new floors and walls she just finished are gone, and she still has to pay for them for the next 30 years.
If you know my Mom, you know she's the first person in line to support any fundraising effort. She has two Compassion kids in Haiti and Brazil and about 30 honorary Orth children around Jacksonville who consider her their adopted ma. She works harder than anyone I know, and she has always sacrificed her desires so everyone else in her family could have what they need. We were so excited for her to finally get what she wanted... and then Irma washed it away.
Before winter comes, we would like her to at least be able to replace the torn out walls so she doesn't freeze. Everything else is cosmetic. Maybe she'll get floors again and maybe she won't. She said, "I've lived with concrete floors before, I can do it again." She's been so positive about this whole experience.
If you feel lead to help Mom rebuild, THANK YOU! We know there are plenty of neighbors far worse off, so if you'd rather help elsewhere, please consider donating to Hope Force International who came to us and is now fanning out across the community.
- Erica Arnold
- Kim Thompson
- Tony & Janell Richardson
- Michelle Rochette
- Dawn Brady
Organizer and beneficiary
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