College students spend Christmas break helping flood victims rebuild

HEMINGWAY, SC (WBTW) – Several neighbors in the Pee Dee area are still recovering from the October flood. Many of those people were not eligible for assistance from FEMA.

This week, a group of college students spent their Christmas vacation helping those flood victims in Williamsburg County and Florence County rebuild.

It’s part of a partnership with Southern Baptist Disaster Relief and the South Carolina Baptist Collegiate Ministries. On Thursday, students worked to replace the roof on the home of 89-year-old Lillian Joye.

“I think it’s wonderful. They are precious,” said Joye.

When asked why the college kids do what they do, they say the answer is easy.

“It just comes kind of natural,” said Brady Gladden, a student from Francis Marion University.

Alexis Richardson is also a student at Francis Marion, and she says she chose to volunteer because she feels it’s what she was called to do.

“The Lord’s just equipped it inside of me, you know. Yeah, I just love the Lord, and I love helping others,” said Richardson.

Tom Vannoy is a North Carolina Baptist Men Team Leader, and he’s been working with the students all week. He says the group is finishing repairs on Joye’s roof and the back wall to her home.

“You could look in and see her kitchen cabinets when they got the wall out. It was that bad,” said Vannoy.

“I’m too old. I can’t walk around, you know, see anything like that, so I really wouldn’t know,” said Joye.

Joye says she appreciates their help, but she’s even more grateful for their company.

“They’re like my adopted children really cause they are so nice,” laughs Joye.

The Rebuild Blitz group is made up of 50 college students from the University of South Carolina, Francis Marion University, Winthrop, and the College of William and Mary.


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