Volunteers broke out the hammers and nails Monday trying to build up what was torn down in the March 3 tornado that decimated Lee County.
The Fuller Center for Housing and East Alabama Medical Center were among the groups that brought together contractors and local church volunteers to reconstruct three homes in Beauregard.
“The people that come here are people of goodwill, and often I always find they leave blessed for the experience. They got as much out of it as they gave, often more,” says David Snell, the Pesident of The Fuller Center.
EAMC funded the project and chose the families who will soon move in. The area the hospital chose is of special significance, because it’s where they lost one of their own.
Maggie Robinson was a Beauregard resident and EAMC nurse. She lost her life when her home, along with her brother’s and cousin’s were all leveled during the tornado.
“This is a prime example of how much Maggie was loved, you know? A prime example of that, and she was a good person,” explains Napoleon Darby, Maggie Robinson’s cousin and one of the home build recipients.
Darby says he and his family’s lives have been ripped apart, both by the storm and by Maggie’s loss.
“I’ve been going, going like crazy every since the tornado and still going, but they’ve made it a lot easier,” Darby says of the organizations and volunteers teaming up to build his new home.
The Fuller Center provides housing opportunities for those in need, both through disaster recovery efforts for the uninsured or impoverished, and also through global philanthropy.
Although a project like this would normally take six months, all the organizations came together to do it in one. They say part of the reason was the timely need, but also to fulfill need of a different kind.
“One of the reasons we’re building these houses now so quickly is to give some hope to folks, to let them know that yeah, there’s a possibility we can recover from this,” Snell explains to News 3’s Mikhaela Singleton.
“I’m just so, so grateful. That’s all I can say. It’s all being done. Some doors were closed to us, but another door opens,” Darby says.
The Fuller Center will also host another build in September where they will construct eight more homes for Lee County tornado survivors.