A coalition of organizations continues to raise another $110,000 to build two new homes for Lake Township families who saw their homes destroyed by a tornado in June.
Calvary Lutheran Church Pastor Bob Noble, Hope Builds Campaign spokesman, told The Press $150,000 is needed for materials. Noble said about $40,000 has been raised.
The Genoa Banking Company is one of the business partners of the campaign, created last year to oversee the project.
“We need more, but we’re convinced that it is going to happen,” GenoaBank President Marty Sutter said. “There have been two families selected and now it’s just a matter of getting the money and building the properties. We are accepting the donations at all the GenoaBank offices and we are working really hard at it.”
“It’s a great, worthy project,” Sutter continued. “We’re really working hard on it, too, trying to help. It’s just a wonderful project. We’ve been very involved from the beginning and Pastor Bob is one of them who worked very closely with us on this.
“When Pastor Bob came to talk with me about this, because the bank was very involved with the tornado victims and had worked really close with a lot of area businesses and a lot of area homeowners after the tornadoes, one of the things that we also decided to take on was partner up with Hope Builds. We just think it’s a great worthy event. Really, it’s a campaign for calling God to bring hope and faith to our community.”
Hope Builds is an association of the congregations of Lake Township, various business professionals, and contractors spearheaded by the Lake Township Ministerial Association.
In addition to Calvary Lutheran and Moline United Methodist, other churches involved in the effort are: Main Street Church, Walbridge; St. John’s Lutheran Church, Stony Ridge; Zion Lutheran Church, Lake Twp., St. Peter’s United Church of Christ, Millbury; St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, Millbury; St. Jerome Church, Walbridge, Rossford United Methodist Church, and Lakewood Church of the Brethren, Millbury.
GenoaBank, Habitat for Humanity of Wood County, Catholic Charities Diocese of Toledo, and the United Methodist Committee on Relief are also participating, Pastor Noble said.
The campaign held a groundbreaking for the homes on November 24, 2010 on the first of the two homes to be built. Moline United Methodist Church has donated land on Schreiber Street where a home will be constructed for David and Jean Hunt and in Millbury the coalition plans to build a home for Jesse and Amanda Johnson.
Participants at the groundbreaking included pastors affiliated with the campaign, the families, and their case worker.
“What a blessed day,” said Pastor Noble. “We were thrilled with the turn out for the groundbreaking and are looking forward to working together to ‘build hope’ for our friends and neighbors.”
The Hunts were living in the Moline area when the Category EF4 tornado hit in June, 2010, Pastor Noble said, adding the donation by the Moline church of the land “speaks volumes of their congregation.”
The Johnsons, who were living in Millbury at the time of the storm, and the Hunts didn’t have insurance, he said.
The Long Term Recovery Committee, which was established after the storm to review requests for assistance by storm victims, identified the families as not having the resources to recoup their losses.
A general contractor has expressed interest in heading the project, which will rely heavily on volunteers, Pastor Noble said. The materials to build the houses as well as financial gifts will be donated by local businesses; while church and community members will provide the manpower for the actual construction.
Donations may be sent to GenoaBank or participating churches. Checks should be made out to Hope Builds.
“We are so blessed to be able to come together to serve our community during its time of need,” Pastor Noble said. “It brings us joy to work together to build hope for our friends and neighbors.”
He said the families survived the tornado by taking refuge in their basements. For information contact Pastor Noble at 419-836-8986.