ORANGE COUNTY, Texas — A family in Orange is finally home Wednesday night after living in a FEMA trailer for two and a half years.
Their home is the first of five rebuilds planned in Orange County courtesy of a Christian organization called Apostolic Christian HarvestCall.
During Harvey Terry Robin and her family had seven feet of water in their yard, and three and a half inside their home.
"We had to be picked up by air boats because it rose so fast, you know, and when we were able to come back in the trailer had been knocked over off the axles and it was a total loss," Robin said.
Since then, she and her family of six have been living in a one bedroom FEMA trailer. Robin says it's been difficult at times, but they've made it work. She and her husband feel blessed to have the help.
"My husband and I are in our 60's and it's hard to start again at that age," she said.
They'll live in the new home with her grandson, his wife, and their two young children. Robin is especially happy to have room for her three-year-old great grand daughter to have room to run and play.
"It feels wonderful, people have told me how luck I am and I say 'no, it's how blessed we are,' because without God intervening and taking control of the situation there's not telling where we would be," Robin explained.
Apostolic Christian HarvestCall is a mission of Apostolic Christian Church of America and since the 1980’s one of their missions has been helping disaster victims rebuild according to the group’s website.
Harvest Call's first efforts were in response to Hurricane Hugo in 1989 the website said.
Last year the group did a project in Hardin County.
Michelle Tubbleville is the executive director of Orange County Disaster Rebuild. The organization is partnered up with IConnect Outreach and Harvest Call. Tubbleville says they've been in contact with Harvest Call for over a year, working out the logistics for their trip to the county.
"They'll stay until the end of march and so we're really excited they'll be rebuilding five homes and repairing 15-20 homes," Tubbleville said.
The families the group is working with came from disaster case management teams and agencies OCDR works with. Tubbleville says they couldn't do any of this without help from elected officals, nonprofits, and church groups. She says they've had grants from the Red Cross and the Center of Disaster philanthropy, and IConnect outreach also helps with construction and grants.
"Being from Orange we're just known, and I love our community, we all rally together so we have a lot of collaborative partners that have come on board with us to help this," Tubbleville said.
OCDR came up with the funding, but Harvest Call provided skilled labor volunteers to take care of the rebuild, and much more.
"They do a lot more than rebuilding, but they also go on and they love these families and they form relationships, so that's what it's about," Tubbleville said.
She feels blessed to be apart of the Robin family's recovery, and looks forward to helping others like them.
"Hopefully we will see the light at the end of the tunnel for Harvey, but it's going to take a lot of work, and a lot of collaboration," Tubbleville said.
OCDR is always looking for volunteers, monetary donations, and materials. If you'd like to help families like the Robin's, contact them at (409)745-9719.
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