Eight Days of Hope continues tornado recovery work in Amory

Rapid Response Team has helped clear limbs and debris from hundreds of homes

AMORY, Miss. (WCBI) – It has been more than two weeks since a deadly tornado hit Monroe County, but the work from a Pontotoc County-based ministry continues.

Don Dabney may be more than 30 feet up in a bucket cutting limbs, but there’s no place he would rather be.

“God has called me here,” Dabney said.

Dabney is the Rapid Response Manager for Eight Days of Hope relief work in Amory. The ministry has been on the ground here since the day after the tornado hit.

“When we first got here it was a disaster, a lot of trees down, homes damaged, needed to be tarped, and a lot of people in shock,” Dabney said.

Since then, more than 700 volunteers, from across the country have worked with the ministry’s Rapid Response Team. The volunteers have assessed 269 homes,  they have completed 219 tasks, and finished work on 138 homes, all at no cost to the homeowner.

Gale Manning is a retired US Marshal and volunteers with Eight Days of Hope whenever he can. He enjoys bringing true hope to people who have lost all hope.

“After we cut a tree or mud out their house, they have a smile on their face, and see there’s light at the end of the tunnel for them, and they will also know who Jesus Christ is,” Manning said.

On every trip, Eight Days of Hope partners with a local church, where food and lodging are provided for out-of-town volunteers. Amory’s Meadowood Baptist Church has hosted the ministry since the work began.

“Eight Days of Hope, we have had a connection with them since Katrina, and when Smithville had its tornado in 2011, we hosted them here, and we have that connection. They are who they say they are,  really, they misnamed it, it’s really 365 days of hope,” Pastor Lloyd Sweatt said.

Eight Days of Hope will wrap up its Rapid Response work in Amory on Saturday. But the impact of that work will continue for a long time, all because of volunteers who put hands and feet into their faith.

Eight Days of Hope is gearing up for a trip to Fort Myers Florida next month. Volunteers will help rebuild hundreds of homes damaged by Hurricane Ian last year. For information on how to sign up, go to eightdaysofhope.com

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