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NORTH PORT | Congregation looking for volunteers to install drywall in Ian-damaged homes

New Day Christian Church
Posted at 1:52 PM, Sep 27, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-27 18:48:03-04

NORTH PORT, Fla. — Looking around, you can still see so many communities still rebuilding after Ian. Inside homes, it's the same story.

A North Port church is still working to help the community they call home build back.

"That night, North Port flooded," said New Day Christian Church Pastor Rusty Russell. "Nearly every home had piles of debris."

The Port Charlotte church served as a county shelter where Russell says about 100 elderly patients stayed there.

When they were able to go outside, Russell says the congregation got to work.

"We knew we had to go as fast as we possibly could to help as many people as we possibly could," he said. "We started tarping people’s roofs as quickly as possible and I think we got about 100 roofs done in the next few days."

Over the past year, they have been helping people.

"The one thing I never fathomed was how long it was going to take to put things back together," Russell said.

The church is now focusing on the inside of homes as we approach the one-year mark since Ian.

"We have 30 families our church that are under roofs now, but their drywall is still not finished, living in unfinished space," Russell explained.

On Saturday, Sept. 30 you can volunteer to install drywall for those families from 8 a.m. to noon. Russell hopes it will give them a little bit of relief.

"We’re going to help our neighbor until our job is done," he said.

Russell says through the help, he believes it's going to be natural for people to sense some grief as they recall what they went through last year.

However, he hopes people look back with a positive mind, too.

"Think of all the things that happened that were good since Ian," Russell said. "This community responded beautifully."

You can sign up to volunteer here.