Evacuees turn hardship into volunteer opportunity

September 19, 2008 4:25:22 AM PDT
Hurricane Ike may have destroyed a lot of property, but it didn't manage to destroy the human spirit of some evacuees in Tyler. HURRICANE IKE: Breaking news on Ike | POD locations | Person locator | Local gas station report | Hurricane guide | Viewer photos of Ike | Latest power numbers

A group of people tired of sitting around in a Wal-Mart shelter spent yesterday working for Habitat for Humanity, building and painting new homes. The evacuees from Beaumont said even though they don't know the status of their own homes, they are thankful to be alive and want to give back.

"It's always good to give back what you're getting. It's a blessing, to help others like I'm being helped now," said Fredrick Brouchett, an evacuee from Beaumont.

"They are over here helping other people, helping build new lives and they don't even know if they have their own lives," said volunteer Margo Ballew, who gathered the evacuees. "It's just great. They are special people."

Some of the evacuees said they were even considering staying in Tyler permanently. They said they like east Texas and they are tired of running from storms.

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