Local News

NC Baptist Men helping tornado victims for free

Posted May 5, 2011 2:21 p.m. EDT
Updated May 5, 2011 6:12 p.m. EDT

— Almost three weeks after the tornadoes, a neighborhood off Brentwood Road in Raleigh is still a mess, but it's getting better.

Storm victim Daniel Wilkinson says his morning got off to a noisy start recently.

“I woke up this morning to chainsaws, and I looked at my phone. My mom had called and said, ‘Hey, the Baptist Men are going to be here,’” Wilkinson said.

With the smell of fresh-cut wood and chainsaw exhaust in the air, several volunteers from North Carolina Baptist Men Disaster Relief worked all day cutting up trees and carrying them away.

The crews have done this kind of storm clean up at more than 1,000 sites around the state, and they've done it for free.

“We don't charge anything. People travel from all the way across the state to come here and work in the name of Jesus, and that's why we do what we do,” said Lin Honeycutt, with N.C. Baptist Men.

The group wants to help more people. As volunteers go through neighborhoods, wherever they see storm damage, they're leaving flyers, saying, "Please call us.”

Volunteers from Samaritan's Purse were focusing on clean up in North Raleigh, but they had to leave this week to help in Alabama. Baptist Men say they want to fill the need.

“We want to be sure to let folks know that, although our partners left, we're still here to do that work,” Honeycutt said.

Wilkinson says his family is grateful for the help. It brings them and their neighbors a little closer to getting back to normal, however long that takes. Daniel Wilkinson is the son of the late WRAL reporter, Dan Wilkinson.

The Baptist Men will remove trees, clean up debris and install tarps on the roof at no cost.

If you need help, stop by Carolina Pines Baptist Church at 2655 S. Saunders St., Raleigh, call 919-834-7911 or visit N.C. Baptist Men's Disaster Relief website. All of their services are free. They're also in need of equipment, such as skid steers and trucks.