Volunteers travel to rebuild one of last homes damaged by tornado

last house 2By SARAH BRADBURY



Doug Boston, from Cornerstone Baptist Church in Warrenton, brought a team of volunteers, including seven of his eight children, to rebuild one of the last remaining homes damaged by the tornado of 2011, located on Mt. Olivet Road.

“We’d been looking at trying to team with the Bland Ministry Center, and so I came down and visited about six weeks ago, got in contact with Janet Jonas, and she got everything set up for us,” said Boston.

The rebuild of the house was grant-funded, and with the exception of lead construction worker Bill Warden, all labor was volunteered. “We’ve been staying at the First United Methodist Church in town,” said Boston, who also said the YMCA provided them with shower facilities.

“We have had meals provided by Memorial Baptist Church, and my wife and kids helped to put together some dental packages at the United Methodist Church. Boston said former Pulaski resident Tara Hancock goes to his church and “that’s how we got connected with Memorial Baptist.”

Wanda Riddle, who owns the home, has been staying at her mother’s home just down the road. Boston said her house had some damage, and even though there had been partial repair work done, over the course of time it was decided to take down the home and use grant money to rebuild it. According to Boston, Riddle has been visiting every day. “We’ve enjoyed getting to know her and spending time with her,” said Boston. “She even helped raise the wall around her door.”

“We came in Sunday afternoon and started work Monday morning and it was just block foundation at that point in time, and so here at the end of the week we have the house entirely framed up,” said Boston. “We still need shingles, but we’re in the process of doing the windows, and we should have all the interior framing done as well.”

Boston said there has been a rotating crew of volunteers throughout the course of the build, including “a general contractor and his wife and their team, one person at the beginning of the week, and three other people over the course of the week. We’ve always had between six and eight people on site.”

Boston said he and the volunteers really appreciate Jonas and all the support they got from her and from Warden “who has been an excellent construction foreman.”

According to Boston, the grant is supposed to run out around mid-December, which he said is one of the reasons they wanted to start right away.





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