Volunteers help to save storm-damaged homes

HATTIESBURG, Miss (WHLT) — A house on Cherry Street has been passed down throughout generations. After Saturday’s early morning tornado ripped through the Pine Belt, the Huff family tells us the help they are receiving is a miracle.

Angeline Smith passed away in April. Her grandchildren moved into her home filled with family traditions. Now, Saturday’s storm destroyed the home, and they believe the dozens of volunteers out here cleaning up are angels sent from her.

“I really think my grandmother and my mother you know, spread their wings and covered them and shielded them from danger,” express grandson Nick Smith.

The family says the magnitude of help is a blessing from God.

Before anyone showed up, Bobby Huff was going to clean up on his own.

“I was coming back over here this morning to cover the house and all of a sudden there was people’s here saying what can we do?” he said.

Temple Baptist Church came to volunteer as a group Sunday after church.

Volunteer Lindsey Hardin said they were offering any type of help.

“I mean, I offered to tarp the roof and I have no experience,” she said.

Once a week, the family gathered for Sunday dinners. The family shed tears as they began to express that is what they will miss most about their grandmother’s home.

“It has sentimental value that can’t be replaced, and just looking at is just kind of heart breaking but also overwhelming feeling. To walk outside and see so many people that we don’t know,” said granddaughter Kristi Polk.

Hardin expresses how it’s just human nature to give back.

“I think yes it was sad, but it was also such a prideful moment for me to see the strength and the resilience of human and our community honestly,” she said.

The strength of the community shows with the diversity of volunteers.

““It means the world to us and my frat brothers because we were built on service,” says members of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.

A young girl is spent day with her family cleaning up.

“I’ve been praying for that lady, she was sad because her car got stuck and we freed it for her,” says Bella Welborn.

Many in the Pine Belt say that the support they are receiving is incredible.



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