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Nail by Nail, Baptist Men Rebuild Halifax Woman's World

A fire destroyed Wendy Pittman's house in May 2007. Thanks to the efforts of the N.C. Baptist men, she looks forward to living in a brand-new home.

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ROANOKE RAPIDS, N.C. — Nail by nail, the North Carolina Baptist Men are putting Wendy Pittman's world back together, nearly 10 months after a house fire destroyed it.

On May 4, 2007, a fire destroyed Pittman's Vance Street home and killed four of her pets. "All I saw was smoke that was so black and dark gray that I couldn't see the ceiling," she recalled.

Pittman lost all her belongings in the fire and did not have insurance on the house. Then a month later, her fiancee died of cirrhosis of the liver.

"Sometimes just bad things happen to good people," Ron Garrett, with N.C. Baptist Men, said.

By January, the story of Pittman's plight had spread through the town, and Habitat for Humanity had referred her to the N.C. Baptist Men. The all-volunteer group aims to help North Carolinians hit hard by disasters.

Organizers estimated they gathered more than $40,000 in donations and said volunteers to help rebuild Pittman's house were easy to find.

"We have a group of people that are just coming out of the woodwork, literally," Garrett said.

N.C. Baptist men tore down the old house and began building one anew. Starting from scratch, volunteers built a foundation and frame for the house in one month.

"It's going up amazingly fast," said Lawrence Sandy, an official with the N.C. Baptist Men. "We're going to build this house in record time."

Sandy said he hopes that Pitman will be in her new home sometime in June.

"I feel like a kid at Christmas," Pittman said. The best gift, though, she said, is see how so many people can care so much.

"They are wonderful," Pittman said. "I said they're my angels I can see."



Beau Minnick, Reporter
Anne Johnson, Web Editor

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