‘I thought it was a prank call,’ woman says of help offered to repair hurricane damaged home

CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – Over 50 students from all over the country were in Horry County and the surrounding areas this week fixing homes damaged by Hurricane Matthew. The students are part of the organization World Changers.

Five teams worked at five different sites which were all located between Myrtle Beach and Nichols.

“I’ve always wanted to go on a mission trip and help others,” said 17-year-old Malery Ward. “Because that’s what we’re supposed to do as Christians. We’re supposed to help others and love others.”

Ward’s group worked on a home in Conway severely damaged by flooding and winds.

“We fixed the drywall, we painted, put in the countertop and stove. Just about everything,” said Maddie Brown, 17. The owner of the home, Maniesha Batten, stopped by on Thursday to see the group’s progress.

“I wish I could give them something,” said Batten, after seeing her home almost complete. “I don’t know what I’d give them. I just feel like I owe them so much and it’s amazing. It’s a great feeling.”

Batten has been living in a one-bedroom apartment with her mother and two daughters since October. She did not qualify for FEMA and found out World Changers would be helping her when she received a phone call.

“I hung up on the person because I thought it was a prank call,” said Batten. “But then she called back and said, ‘We want to help you.’”

Another group will come in next week to put the final touches on the home and Batten hopes to move back in soon after.

“I just want to thank them for everything they did. They didn’t have to. For me and my family, I don’t know how or what I can ever do to repay them,” cries Batten.

World Changers is an initiative of LifeWayChristian Resources and this week was their first time in Myrtle Beach. Funding for the projects comes from the South Carolina Disaster Relief Fund.