HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Many homes continue to be rebuilt in the Pine Belt following the deadly 2017 tornado.
Hattiesburg nonprofit R3SM is behind many of those rebuilds.
“Back in 2017 when the tornado hit, we totally lost everything we had,” Hattiesburg resident George Pace said.
Pace knows all too well the devastation of losing everything you own.
“Fortunately, I had insurance and I was in good shape," Pace said. "But, I reached out to help other people because I know what they are going through.”
He is one of the faces behind the scenes who organized a gospel concert at Heritage United Methodist Church in an effort to raise money for R3SM.
Many volunteers and donors have given money and time, allowing the organization to continue rebuilding homes following the 2017 tornado devastation, but money was still needed for operational costs.
Heritage United Methodist Church presented $10,000 to R3SM on Wednesday.
“And designate this money to keep them in operation and help support the staff and this building. So, as the pastor of the church I am proud, and as the chair of the board at R3SM I am proud. So, it’s like a double blessing,” said Steve Casteel, pastor of Heritage United Methodist Church and chair of the R3SM board.
“We are very grateful for all of our partners," R3SM Executive Director Mavis Creagh said. "This is actually the second year they put on the concert. It’s a great help for us and the work we do in the community.”
Just last week, the organization dedicated the 28th home rebuilt since the 2017 tornado. The organization is looking to complete three more homes this year.
“As long as we can help people like this, it’s a great thing for me,” Pace said.