Michigan volunteers working on final R3SM home rebuild from 2017 tornado

Michigan volunteers helping rebuild home
Published: Jan. 19, 2023 at 8:39 PM CST
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - About one dozen volunteers from Michigan are in Hattiesburg this week, helping rebuild a home that was damaged in the January 2017 tornado.

Volunteers from two churches in that state are working with the organization “World Renew” and Hattiesburg’ Recover, Rebuild and Restore Southeast Mississippi to rebuild a home for Carolyn Smith.

Her house was damaged in the twister six years ago and had to be demolished.

The Michigan volunteers are doing drywall and other work through Friday.

“Everybody takes a week off and just comes down and volunteers,” said Harvey Leep, team leader for the volunteers. “After the tornadoes and the hurricanes, (the people here) need so much help and if we can’t take a week out of our year and come and help, there’s something wrong.”

Mavis Creagh, executive director of R3SM, said she hopes to have the home finished by the end of March.

“By the time they finish, hopefully (Friday), we’ll be ready to receive groups in to paint and prime, and also getting ready for flooring and cabinets and stuff to be put in as well,” Creagh said.

When finished, the house will be the 29th and final complete rebuild for R3SM from the January 2017 tornado.

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