"The house shook, and vibrating," said Joshua Melton, 8.
"We had no power, no water for over two weeks," added Sandra Melton.
But the Melton family had no idea that two-and-a-half years later, their home would still covered by a tattered blue tarp.
"It's been hard really because we have to put down plastic, put down towels to absorb the water, then clean up the mess after the rain," said Sandra.
They reached out to FEMA for help.
"They told us that we didn't have enough damage on our home," said Ernest Melton. "Even told us that our roof was too old."
It couldn't have come at a worse time.
"In 2005, November 17, I had a massive heart attack," said Ernest. "Come to find out all my arteries and valves were closed off."
On top of that was cancer. Doctors had given Ernest little hope of survival and then another medical blow.
"I was having a heart attack," said Ernest's wife, Sandra. "They took out my heart, fixed it, put it back in and they took really great care of me."
It's enough to make even the toughest just give up. But the Meltons can't and won't. They have custody of their grandson, Joshua, who also has a long list of very serious medical problems.
"He's the one thing that really keeps us going," said Ernest.
Sandra added, "He makes life worth living. He really does."
With no help on the way and the blue tarp wearing thin, the Meltons decided they had to do something.
"He told me, 'Why don't we go on Craigslist and see if anybody has any extra shingles' and he said, 'We'll buy them from them a piece at a time, what we can afford,'" said Sandra.
They live on a mere thousand dollars a month, so patching the roof, piece by piece, was a long-shot.
"I told her that God would take care of us," said Ernest.
And then came a phone call.
"He said, 'Look, I can help you out. I have a bunch of shingles. I'm a roofer I do contracting, but let's wait till after Christmas,'" said Sandra.
Milton Court is a Houston contractor. He'd come across the Meltons' ad on Craiglist.
"I put out an email to my company and everybody involved and I got a tremendous response. All of our acumen guys had material had the time and were willing to do this," said Court. "We started realizing that there was a need and we talked to this family and we put our heads together and this is what we came up with."
In just two hours Sandra, Ernest, and Joshua Melton now have a new roof and renewed hope.
"Like we say, we get up every morning, we trust in God that he is going to make the way and somehow, like she said, things get took care of," said Ernest.
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