The couple manages the World Renew DRS rebuilding project at the long-term reconstruction site in Ocean County, New Jersey, where flooding from Super-storm Sandy left thousands of residents with damaged homes. “It is always such a blessing to meet the people we are serving; it’s a daily encouragement to us that we aren’t just fixing houses—we are restoring homes.”
Keith was already thinking about the future and telling us what he plans to do to help other people
Keith Hall is an Atlantic City resident whose home was severely damaged by Sandy in August 2012. As the storm raged outside, Hall survived inside his home in chest-deep water. Because of a debilitating accident that left him with metal rods in his back, Hall is limited in the amount and type of work he is able to do. He is also caregiver to his wheelchair-bound grandmother, who currently lives elsewhere.
On first entering Keith’s home for the first time, the Grevenstuks found that the inside was completely gutted. There were no interior walls and a few wood planks covered the floor joists. The home’s second floor was in the same type of condition. In addition, there was no electricity or heat in the home even though winter was approaching. A small, battery-operated lantern sat on a table on the second floor to provide some light.
As Grevenstuks and construction supervisors Harry and Andrea Klingenberg talked with Hall, his encouraging spirit became obvious.
“Just look what I have. I am so blessed,” Keith said as he leaned again the exposed studs inside of his house. He was thankful for just the interior structure of the home and excited that the Grevenstuks, Klingenbergs, and the other DRS volunteers were there to help him with the work he couldn’t complete because of his injury.
“Living in conditions like these is hard on anybody,” Grevenstuks said. “It’s all you can think about, getting your home back together again. But Keith was already thinking about the future and telling us what he plans to do to help other people. He wants to plant a garden behind his house so he can grow fresh produce for his neighbors.
“As World Renew DRS volunteers we are reminded often that life is not about material possessions but about relationships. We are blessed to meet and work with people like Keith in our day-to-day living,” said Grevenstuks.
World Renew DRS volunteers share often that meeting the people whose homes they work on has a deep impact on them. It’s a reminder that they are not just fixing houses—they are restoring homes.
Consider donating or volunteering to help others like Keith Hall. Visit worldrenew.net/drs or call 800-848-5818.