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Harvey storm victims express thanks to volunteers helping the area recover

Members of the AmeriCorps volunteer organization from New Mexico are gutting storm-damaged homes and doing mold remediation in Southeast Texas.

"There's people out there that lost everything, some people that may not be able to get anything back at all, so it really opens up your eyes, makes you feel good that you're helping someone and making a difference in their life," said Israel Davis.

There are eight teams of volunteers, 18-25 years old.

"Just incredible the amount of strength I see in the community, it's just amazing. Some of the people get me teared up when they're telling me their story," said Griffin Ferrante.

The teams work throughout the Golden Triangle, but their home base while in the area is the Family Worship Center in Pinehurst.

Anna Marie Patterson is with the center. She's used to hosting a large number of people. That's what she did when the center served as a shelter for storm victims.

"Lot of scared people, they were very, very scared and trying to be the brave face in all that, keeping everybody calm, making sure everybody had dry clothing It was, I don't know what word to describe it, actually," said Patterson.

She does have one word for the Americorps' volunteers-grataitude.

"The millennials as they call them, they have such a bad rap, they're saying they're not doing anything, they're not about anything, they're going anywhere, but I have a hundred plus kids who are proving them wrong."

But on Thanksgiving Day, the volunteers got a day off from recovery work, as those they've been helping throughout Southeast Texas brought them food for a feast, to show their appreciation.

"Everybody here is so nice. They've been nothing but kind to us. We hope to return the favor by helping them out as much as we can," said Ferrante.

The Thanksgiving meal filled stomachs and hearts for young people who are away from their homes to rebuild the homes of others.

"Of course I miss my family and a few of the traditions of being back home, but I wouldn't want to be anywhere else," said Samantha Gorley.


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