Church Group Helps South Carolinians Rebuild
Faye Washington is looking forward to moving back home. Her three-bedroom red brick house with yellow trim looks the same from the outside, but the inside is completely new.
Volunteers are drilling nails into drywall and taping together new air ducts. Washington has lived at this home for 56 years.
“This house was built in 1960 and I was born in 1960,” she said.
Washington fled her Georgetown home last October when nearly 12 inches of water seeped in the doors and windows. She said it felt like her house was in a river.
“We were riding in boats,” Washington said. “We saw alligators.”
Once the water receded, she eventually found help with the South Carolina Educational and Missionary Baptist Convention through word of mouth. Samuel Fulmore handles recovery efforts for the group.
“We are in the second phase of...long term recovery,” he said. “We are [hoping] to be on the grounds helping people throughout this year, to the middle of next year.”
Fulmore said he has been going door to door to find people who need help. In the past, he says, his church has been donated money to those impacted by natural disasters. But this time he felt he needed to be more hands on. He’s coordinating free labor to rebuild homes.
“The need is there, and I wanted to be able to do more to assist the people that have been affected,” Fulmore said. “When it hit home, it makes you see things differently.”
The labor comes from baptist groups all around the country. The crews working on Washington's house drove more than 700 miles to help out. Steve Crothers is securing dry wall in the front entrance of the home. He drove from Ohio to help rebuild.
Crothers said he’s done a dozen other trips to recovering areas across the country.
“Nobody is immune from disaster, it can hit anywhere anytime,” he said. “We are all susceptible. There is a way that everybody can help.”
In the last eight months, the South Carolina baptist group has gotten volunteers to help rebuild 18 homes across the state.