Earlier this year, a sewer backup damaged nearly 50 homes in Eau Claire. But thanks to a local church and hurricane relief team, that damage is being undone.
A water main break back in February caused thousands of dollars in damage and repair. Missions director of Peace Church, Jordan Van Proosdy, saw an opportunity to help and began recruiting volunteers.
"The team that's with us today has built 57 homes in Central America with an organization called Casas por Cristo," said Proosdy. "And from those builds it's just been amazing leaders and amazing builders that have grown up right here at Peace Church and in the city of Eau Claire. We are hoping to start this movement, this passion of people right here in Eau Claire that just share the same ideas, share the same heart and want to make a difference for our neighbors."
Volunteers split up into crews, hauling sheet rock, dry wall and other materials into four affected homes on Fountain St.
"Its a beautiful thing for us all to come together." said Mary Zellmer, member of Peach Church and the hurricane relief group. "And it was immediately that we had 50 volunteers. How beautiful is that? The work of god is right here in Eau Claire."
Just one day before their first round of houses, St. James the Greater Catholic Church reached out to help.
"There are so many generous businesses and so many generous people that are willing to bring food, bring supplies, bring items," said Proosdy. "it's just been so moving and so great to see people emailing and saying 'How can we be a part of this great thing that is going on right here in our city?'"
One affected homeowner and her son, Ryan, were worried about the climbing debt of damage, but the numerous volunteers gave them new hope.
"My hope is that later down the road that I can pay it forward," said homeowner Karen J. Olson, "that I can do something for somebody that is hurting down the line. I really love living in Eau Claire, because I think we see a lot of this type of thing taking place."
If you're interested in volunteering to help those whose homes were damaged my the water main, contact Peace Church. You can find contact information here.