The Central Virginian

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Rebuilding homes, lives

Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 11:10 am

Homes were stripped up to four feet of all belongings, including appliances and then piled onto the streets for pick-up.

Members of Grace Free Will Baptist Church in Louisa, one of several local churches that have participated in helping the victims of Hurricane Sandy,  went to New York during Thanksgiving week to help with the clean-up.

Pastor John Austin and church members Joe Starkey, Lowell Welch, and Eric Shawn had a brief lunch together after church on November 18, 2012 then headed to New York where a list of 180 homes were scheduled to be completely stripped inside.

According to Austin, mold was a huge factor in the homes. Their goal was to totally strip out the house and up to four feet up on the walls so that the homes could air out and then be sprayed down for mold.

“A lot of people were sadly living in their homes with little to no heat,” Austin said. “People just didn’t have the money.”

The volunteers from Grace Free Will stayed and worked for two days returning the evening of November 20, 2012 after gutting one home on the first floor and totally stripping another home all the way up to the roof.

“We were basically the gutting crew,” Austin said.

Austin said there were numerous volunteers from other areas of the East Coast.