TUPELO, Miss. (WCBI) – Volunteers have descended upon Tupelo for 8-Days of Hope. They came to the furniture market to pick up their assignments. Then fanned out around Tupelo and neighboring communities to help the recovery effort after the April 28th tornado.
Steve Tybor is the President and Co-Founder of the Tupelo 8-Days of Hope and he says the volunteers have come from all over the country and will be here all week assisting about 160 homeowners who are either uninsured or under insured.
“You know out of our 3,000 volunteers half are skilled and half are like me they’re less skilled. They get to pick the job they want to go on. So if we have a painting professional from Buffalo to fly down here, he can lead a painting group. If we have a roofing crew from Iowa, they’re going to do a roofing job and and then me as a less skilled person I just decide where I work for that day,” Tybor said.
Tony Ingellis’ parents house on Joyner was damage by falling trees, and the volunteers are helping rebuild it.
“It’s just amazing. My mother and daddy didn’t have enough insurance to pay for the total tear down of the house and rebuilding it back and 8 days of hope with their tear down it’s going to save us enough money to where we can take the money we did get and hopefully completely rebuild their house,” Ingellis said.
Lesa Prince and her sons own their own construction company in Jackson Tennessee. They have had their own share of tornadoes. They didn’t hesitate to help clear trees from the site of damaged American Legion property.
“We didn’t think twice about it. We knew that we were just called to do and we knew we had the experience and the equipment to be able to do it and we just wanted be able spend those days and just share God’s love with the people here in Tupelo and the people close to home,” Prince said.
Todd Kandel came with a group of 65 volunteers from Ohio. He also has his own construction company.
“I’ve done siding work with Steve Tybor who is from Tupelo. We came down on first trip a group of us came down for Katrina 2005 the first 8 days of Hope Trip and we were hooked from then been on several other trips I couldn’t make them all but we’ll have a lot of active people from our church,” Kandel concludes.
Kandel says they are impressed with the friendliness of the people of Tupelo and felt very welcome.