Churches Pitching in to Clean Up Storm Damage - - ABC13

Churches Pitching in to Clean Up Storm Damage


Reporter: Lauren Compton l Videographer: Ira Quillen

Lynchburg, VA- It has been 10 days since the derecho blew through our area knocking down trees and damaging homes. Thomas Road Baptist Church and several other churches are pitching in to clean up debris left by the storm.

Some insurance companies will not cover downed trees if there is no structural damage, so the volunteers are helping a lot of people save money. Some of the damage is so big, a lot of residents couldn't clear it if they didn't have this help.

Powered by chainsaws and led by faith, church volunteers are hard at work clearing the damage of the derecho.

"You see people in need so you just do the best you can to help them," said Herbert Hamlett, a Southern Baptist Convention volunteer.

For some, the help they need is huge like removing a fallen oak tree that crushed a residents' fence off Ashley Drive in Lynchburg. The home on Ashley Drive is just one of many homes the volunteers plan to visit to clean up debris.

"We're going to put in a good 8, 10 hour days this week," said Tim Grandstaff, Missions & Outreach Pastor at TRBC.

TRBC has tapped into their partnership with the Southern Baptist Convention Disaster Relief to take on the clean-up project. SBC is a network of churches that help out during tough times. Some SBC volunteers have seen their fair share of disaster like Hurricane Andrew and flooding in Vermont. But as time goes on, it does get a little harder.

"Most of us are retired, and in our mid to late 60's. We're not used to this work, we just have to pace ourselves," said Hamlett.

While the work is hard, volunteers say it often after the toughest storms you see the most good in people.

It's been incredible to see in this disaster how it has brought people together, and how we have worked together," said Grandstaff.

Several churches will be rotating volunteer shifts. TRBC officials say they plan to keep cleaning debris as long as there is a need. If you want to volunteer, call Tim Grandstaff at 434-426-9925.

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