Ironman athletes put training on hold to help Harvey victims

Jeff Ehling Image
Thursday, April 26, 2018
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Ironman athletes volunteer to help fix homes damaged by Hurricane Harvey.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The toughest athletes you will ever find stopped their training and to help Hurricane Harvey flood victims.

Ironman competitors are restoring several houses in Houston, including in Kashmere Gardens.

Mike Villanueva took time off from training for this weekend's Ironman in The Woodlands to repair a flood-damaged home in Kashmere Gardens.

"Being from Houston, it is nice to be able to give back to people who are devastated from Hurricane Harvey," said Villanueva.

Dozens of Ironman competitors are giving back.

Villanueva knows how much this help is needed because his home in Bellaire flooded, too.

"I couldn't say no, so that's the reason why I am here."

The Ironman Foundation is working with Rebuild Houston to fix the homes of those who would not be able to do the work themselves.

"This has been a struggle, this has taken a toll on me," said homeowner Dorothy Rainey.

Rainey has lived in her home for 50 years, but getting back after Hurricane Harvey would be impossible without helping hands.

"I thank God for each and every one of them. I am thankful, I am very thankful," said Rainey.

This project is one of more than 150 being coordinated by Rebuild Houston just this year. Another 250 are planned for next year.

There is still plenty of work to be done and volunteers are still needed.

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