There's No Place Like Home

December 4, 2015 • United States
Samaritan's Purse will

Samaritan’s Purse is recruiting volunteers to help rebuild homes in South Carolina

Volunteers are needed as Samaritan’s Purse has begun an accelerated repair and rebuilding program in Andrews, S.C., to enable as many residents as possible to move back into homes severely damaged by the historic October floods.

Volunteer in South Carolina

This intensive effort by Samaritan’s Purse is in support of the Rapid Repair Program initiated by South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley to assist homeowners affected by the unprecedented flooding. There is a concerted push to get some residents back home prior to the Christmas holiday and even more before coldest winter weather sets in.

15106US-E-1268Epic rains in early October breached dams and sent raging floodwaters cascading throughout the lower part of the state. Samaritan’s Purse responded immediately, recruiting an army of volunteers who came alongside homeowners and provided disaster relief first in Columbia, then in Summerville and finally in Andrews—a rural town located northeast of Charleston and southwest of Myrtle Beach. Joined by her staff, Gov. Haley personally helped clean out a flood-damaged home at a Samaritan’s Purse work site in Columbia.

In Andrews, more than 450 Samaritan’s Purse volunteers helped nearly 180 homeowners. They tore out waterlogged walls and flooring and sprayed for mold—gutting the homes and getting them ready to be repaired.

“Many of the homes here in Andrews had less than four feet of water in them, so our disaster relief teams were able to go in and remove sections of dry wall up to four feet,” explained Brent Graybeal, manager of U.S. Recovery and Development for Samaritan’s Purse. “As a result, we will now be able to focus on repairing these homes and installing new insulation, sheet rock, flooring, cabinets, and appliances.”

Graybeal said that these homes could be repaired in two to three weeks—whereas it can take up to three months to totally rebuild a home that was destroyed. That kind of long-term work will take place down the road, but the immediate attention will be on repair work.

“Samaritan’s Purse is concentrating on the state’s request to do as many repairs as we can and get people back in their homes as quickly as we can,” Graybeal said.

15106US-E-1427“Our goal is to have four supervised construction teams on the ground.”

Work has begun and volunteers are hard at work. But more are needed. Skilled carpenters and unskilled laborers are welcome.

“Homeowners have expressed their appreciation that we’re still here and that we’ve chosen to stay to help them,” Graybeal said. “They’re very thankful and feel very blessed.

“Not only are we excited about meeting this critical physical need, we’re also thrilled that our staff and our volunteers, and our partners at First Baptist Church in Andrews, will be able to share the love of Jesus Christ with these homeowners and to encourage them,” Graybeal said. “We praise God for these opportunities.”

Since our work began in South Carolina, more than 40 individuals have received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

U.S. Disaster Relief Samaritan's Purse mobilizes and equips thousands of disaster relief volunteers to provide emergency aid to U.S. victims of wildfires, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters. In the aftermath of major storms, we often stay behind to rebuild houses for people with nowhere else to turn for help.

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