Community Helps Alachua Family Recover and Rebuild
Last Wednesday, long time Alachua resident, Grace Garrison had one of the scariest moments of her life. Around midnight, a tree fell, splitting her family's home in half. Now, with the help of their community, they are picking up the pieces. Garrison recounts the experience and trying to save what mattered to her.
“When I saw the tree falling my first instinct was to get the kids out,” she says. “My son was under the rummage, had to dig him out. The house was split in half, so I had to go back in and get my other kids out.”
She and her family have been put up in a hotel for now with the help of Red Cross and St. Matthews Baptist Church. St. Matthews Pastor Adrian Weeks says it's the church is happy to help those in need.
“A church is to benefit it's community, we want to establish a relationship with all the members and let people know know no matter what, we're here to help,” Weeks said.
Shattered glass and a broken structure is all that is left of this home that was destroyed by a 100-year-old tree. But even though the tree broke this home, it did not break the spirits of its inhabitants.
“We were always close, but this has made us even closer. We're really blessed to have people step in and do this for us,” said Garrison.
Pastor Weeks is just as thrilled about the community's readiness to help.
“We have had a tremendous out pouring of gifts, donations. The community has wrapped their arms around this family,” he said.
Now that the tree has been removed, the next step is to demolish the lot and start constructing a plan for a new home. The Church prays that the home will be completed by October. It plans to hold a fundraiser on September 19.
For more information contact St. Matthews Baptist Church in Alachua.
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