While standing on top of rubble, Dr. Mac Herring removed a large chunk as the sun beamed though nearby trees.
“We’re trying to clean up a little bit of everything,” Herring said about a burned-down trailer. “There’s not much that can be saved.”
Herring was one of many volunteers lending their labor to help a resident who once called it home. The Lopez family lived in the trailer on Carolina Pine Circle until a fire destroyed it. After the devastation, the family received assistance with furniture, clothes and other resources. The assistance continued Friday when members from First United Methodist Church (UMC) and other organizations came together to remove the remains of Lopez’s trailer.
“I think it’s our way to serve the Lord and help people who need help,” Herring said.”We had a lot of that in our area of the state recently with the floods and Hurricane Matthew.”
The former owner, Maria Lopez is a single mother with five children. Since the incident, the family relocated to Faison for a new home. Lopez travels to Clinton for her job at McDonald’s, where she’s a manager. After losing everything in the fire, Lopez was still held liable to having the structure removed. That would have cost her a $3,700 assessment. This promoted Christians to come together.
Herring, a retired medical professional, attends church with Chris Embler, one of the projects leaders.
“It’s a good way to be able to volunteer time and effort,” Herring said. “I miss my practice and I miss my patients, but this gives me involved with people.”
Embler was grateful for the assistance of organization’s such as Tim’s Gift Inc., Enlighten The World Ministries and H N Carr, Inc., construction company who provided equipment to help with the demolition. Several projects were put to the side to help the church volunteers on Friday.
“A lot of their laborers are here working in order to help this family,” Embler said. “That says a lot about their business and what they’re values are to be able to do that.”
Phillip Andrews, a member of First UMC and sales manger for H N Carr, injured his leg and was sent to the hospital. Volunteers are praying for a speedy recovery.
“If they hadn’t stepped into this role, it would have been a hand-by-hand project,” Embler said. “The equipment has helped a whole lot. Their expertise in the construction areas has benefited us with taking this apart.”
The metal will be salvaged to payoff rent owned on the lot. The remainder will assist with family needs.
While a taking a brief break, Embler expressed that the mission work was an example of grace.
“Obviously, what Jesus did for us we can never pay back,” he said.
Representatives from several organizations began working early Friday morning and work continued through the evening as the temperature increased. Roscoe McNair, a volunteer from Enlighten The World Ministries, removed waste and knocked down portions of the structure using a sledgehammer.
“We’re out here trying to support the community,” McNair said. “Once the ministries in this community start coming together, we can achieve anything.”