Out-of-state volunteers spend Christmas helping Hattiesburg tornado victims

Out-of-state volunteers spend Christmas helping Hattiesburg tornado victims

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Many volunteers from across the country are spending their Christmas holiday in Hattiesburg and Petal helping families recover from the tornado almost two years ago.

A group of men from Kentucky who call themselves the Project Christmas House Crew worked in a light but steady rain Thursday, rebuilding a home on Putnam Avenue in the Hub City.

“It’s Christ’s birthday, so I always say what do you give Christ for his birthday, so we’re in servanthood, trying to be His hands and His feet,” said Bill Carr, a member of the Project Christmas House Crew.

Nearby on Edwards Street, the Rob Milne family from Wyoming put up insulation in another rebuilt home.

They also worked on a home in Petal.

All six members of the family drove for three days to Mississippi from their home in the city of Sheridan.

“Kind of sitting around kicking back is nice for a day or two, but after that, you just want to feel like you want to help out,” said Rob Milne.

Recover, Rebuild, Restore South Mississippi (R3SM) is coordinating their efforts.

“We do have three new constructions that are in progress simultaneously," said Mavis Creagh, executive director of R3SM. “We have two in Hattiesburg, one on Putnam, one on Edwards Street and one in Petal.”

Creagh said three other rebuilds are scheduled so far for 2019.

She said 15 volunteer groups are already scheduled to work on those projects.

“We still do have repairs, there are over 15 that still need assistance as well,” said Creagh. “So, some people feel like it’s only the rebuilds, but we do have repair cases that still need assistance as well.”

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