8 Days of Hope

May 26, 2007
Reported By: Lee Peck

Although it's been nearly two years since Hurricane Rita, the damage she left behind is still very visible in the Lake Area.

"See the bathroom down there. This wood is all rotted out and this family had water coming in their bathroom," said Steve Tybor.

Buffalo, New York native Steve Tybor and friends are here in Southwest Louisiana for "Eight Days of Hope," a faith-based mission which has repaired more than 2,500 homes along the Gulf Coast since the twin storms blew through.

"We started in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina because we wanted to do something. We've made three trips to Mississippi and this is our first to Louisiana," said Tybor.

For the next 8 days, 800 volunteers from 42 different states are helping their fellow man with repairs, repairs they can't afford.

"When we look back for all that the Lord has done for us... How can we not go out and help others who have a need," said Colleen Morgan.

Making the most of their supplies and daylight hours is crucial, as they hope to re-roof more than 80 homes in 8 days as well as do numerous repairs inside.

"Earlier this morning, I took off shingles and now I'm putting on shingles," said Zachary Tybor.

Many of these volunteers have never been on top of a roof, nor do they have construction backgrounds. But that is not stopping them from doing the work.

"As you can see, we have several women on the roof working behind me. None of these women are roofers. They are medical technicians, sales people and they are on the roof here handing roofing materials that weigh 80 pounds a bundle," explains Tybor.

"Yes it's hard... I'm sure I will sleep really good tonight," said Morgan.

Shingle by shingle, Nail by nail, the new roof begins to take form. It's all the reward these volunteers need.

"It makes me feel good. Because if I was in a hurricane, I would want someone else to do it for me too," said Zachary.

"We get the real blessing, knowing that God has used us to do these things. It's a thrill, it's a joy and it just charges you up inside and it keeps you going on a hot day on top of a roof," said Morgan.

The crew plans to work until well after dark to get this job done. Probably completing just in time when the home's owner returns from work.

Meanwhile, if you would like to volunteer your time with "Eight Days of Hope" click here.