R3SM continues its efforts to help 2017 tornado victims

Two years after the deadly tornado, the Pine Belt continues its rebuild.

R3SM continues its efforts to help 2017 tornado victims

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Monday, members of R3SM remembered the lives lost during the January 21, 2017 tornado. The nonprofit continues to be hands on following the devastation, helping to rebuild homes and lives.

Jessica Bowman with more on Recover, Rebuild, Restore Southeast Mississippi and its accomplishments and what’s left.

“There have been 25 new constructions and over 40 repairs,” R3SM Executive Director Mavis Creagh said.

Nearly 2,000 volunteers from across the nation have spent their time in the Pine Belt making recovery an option for those tornado victims.

“With the value of the volunteer labor and the donated resources, it’s been over $3.7 million that has been re-invested into our community," Creagh said. "That’s not a small fee. That’s with a lot of partners.”

Many partners have helped make this mission of re-building possible. More than 70,000 volunteer hours completed the 25 new constructions and have started an additional three.

“We do have an additional, almost 20 repairs and rebuilds that have to be completed, but that’s just in a two year span,” Creagh said.

Creagh said nearly 80 volunteer teams have helped create the foundation of a new life and a new start for those devastated two years ago.

“A lot of the volunteers that we have are from all walks of life, all races, all denominations and they come together to help somebody they don’t even know," Creagh said. "So, it really gives me a renewed hope and faith in people. I know this is also the day we celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. and what he stood for. That was for everyone to come together and have a seat at the table. So, it really pulls everything in together and know that his message and his legacy lives on by the work we do.”

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