Plymouth ministry offers aid to area homeowners

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Friday, August 2, 2019

Going northbound on Mexico Road, one can find a U-Haul truck sitting outside the home of one Edentonian family, with a host of younger volunteers chipping in to get the house up to code.

For the past few decades, the Carolina Rebuilding Ministry out of Plymouth has offered its services to families in need. The mission which started in Washington, NC, extends its services to Bertie and Chowan counties. The nonprofit plans to expand to other cities in North Carolina.

“We serve homeowners who can’t afford to do the repairs themselves, to help keep them safe, dry and healthy,” Susan Creed, organizer for the Carolina Rebuilding Ministry, said in an interview July 25.

The Rev. Dr. Jill Smith, of Christ United Methodist Church, in Salisbury, and her team of volunteers, many of whom are teenage or college-age girls, joined in with the carpentry project on Mexico Road on July 22. The home had extensive water damage due to last week’s terrible rain storm. The roof leaked, causing damage to four of the rooms. So far, the roof has been replaced, and new drywall put up in the rooms where the worst damage occurred.

For privacy purposes, the team requested that the name of the family they were helping be kept confidential.

“Their roof leaked, and the ceiling came down on all of those four rooms, so that’s why they had to be re-sheet rocked and finished off again, so [the family] can go back and live in the home,” Smith said in an interview on July 25.

Creed also is overseeing a similar project in Roper with a home that sustained significant water damage.

“Water does so much damage,” she said. “This our third week working on that house. The ceilings were coming down, the floor had holes in it. The home belongs to a widow, who has an adult child with a disability, a grandchild living with her, and great-grandchildren who are staying with her this summer, so we hope to have her back in soon. They are staying with family while we finish the house, so we should have her in by the end of this week.”

Creed explained how it all works. “We bring in mission teams from all over the country and we house them at local churches. They come in and do the labor free of charge. We provide the materials, and we are able to do that through local donations.”

One of the volunteers was Salisbury native Mallory Humphries, 21, who eagerly gave her account of how much the program has impacted her life.

“This is my second trip outside of Salisbury, about four years total volunteering inside and outside of Salisbury. This time, they let me do a little more than last time. … This time, they let me play with the power sander!” Humphries proudly said. “It makes me feel like a big kid, because I’m not just doing the small stuff anymore.”

All jokes aside, Humphries explained how connected she feels to the project.

“It’s not just about me. It’s about helping this woman who doesn’t have the means to help herself. She’s a little older, and she can’t get up there to her ceiling, sand it down and paint it. It’s always made me feel good to give back to others, and that’s one of the main things that I love about doing this every year. Just coming out here, helping somebody and meeting those people that live here, making those connections; because I’ve always been a people person, helping people is one of the greatest things I have ever done in my whole life.”

Information about The Carolina Rebuilding Ministry is available on its Facebook page, @carolinarebuildingministry, as well as its website with links to its applications for aid and to volunteer or donate to the ministry.

Susan Creed can be reached at 252-741-9502, extension 2.

Christ United Methodist Church can be found on Facebook, as well as www.christ-link.org. Clicking on their Facebook page will route visitors directly to their website.