The small town of Hackleburg got wiped off the map after a tornado destroyed everything in its path on April 27th of last year.
Almost 11 months later, some families have still not rebuilt. Now, a group of volunteers bring hope to Hackleburg, as they pick up their tools to construct two homes.
Ninety volunteers put up the wooden walls of a home that will soon become a home for Tommy Quinn and his parents.
Before construction started, these volunteers were strangers. Now Quinn calls them friends and a true blessing from above.
“It means a lot because we couldn`t have afforded to build a house of our own again for a long, long time,” said Quinn. “It`s just a huge blessing for all these amazing people to come out and do this for us.”
After a tornado destroyed their family home, the Quinns were forced to make do after the disaster, transforming a one room storage unit into a living space for months.
“I just wanted this family to have a real home instead of a storage unit for a home,” said Randy Burbank, Disaster Construction Coordinator for the United Methodist Northwest district.
“We put a bathroom in and we didn`t insulate it so it got a little cold, but it worked out,” explains Quinn.
By the end of the week, one of the rooms outlined with wood will be Tommy's room, and the house transformed into a home.
However, as progress gets made on this plot in Hackleburg, the coordinator of the project says the Quinn’s are just one of many families hoping to build again.
“It`s still a long, long way to go and we still need more funds to get people back in a home, but some way, somehow,” said Burbank as he expressed concerns for future construction projects.
Burbank says if you would like to donate, you can send money to the Northwest Alabama long-term recovery fund through the United Way of the Shoals or to Northwest District United Methodist office in Florence.
And while there may be a wait for more homes to get built, Burbank says, with the help of the community and complete strangers, families across North Alabama have a resiliency to rise again after the storm.
Ninety members from the Prairie Grove Christian Church in Arkansas came to help build homes. The volunteers expect to have two homes finished by Friday.