BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The city of Fultondale is working to clean up following the tornado that ripped through the community earlier this week.
“This is pretty close to home for us,” Gardendale resident and volunteer Ben Bradford said. “This street and the style of houses on this street resemble my street. I’ve stood on people’s front porches and kind of imagined my neighbors and my house. Just makes me thankful it wasn’t me, but I know it could be me.”
Helping their neighbors, Bradford and his wife are volunteering with Samaritan’s Purse, a North Carolina based disaster relief organization, to help clean up the ruins.
“On this street alone, we are working on four different homes,” Sumaritan’s Purse Program Manager Lorenzo Torres said. “We have other teams that are scattered around the community that are working on several homes as well.”
Torres said so far, the organization has had more than 150 community volunteers and completed cleaning more than six houses. He said the organization will be in Fultondale until the need is over, which could take days.
“I’ve only been working for a day and a half,” Bradford said. “The whole first half day, all we did was clean out one bedroom. There’s people going to be needing this help for a long time.”
“Roughly each home will probably have anywhere from 60 to 120, if not more, man hours to get the property cleaned up and get everything put to the curb,” Torres said.
But, organizers with Samaritan’s Purse said the hours are worth putting in because it is helping families who don’t know what to do next.
“All they do is look outside and they see the devastation out here,” Samaritan’s Purse organizer Christy Caldwell said. “They see all the trees down and all the debris scattered all over that comes from who knows where and they don’t know what to do next.”
Bradford said he will volunteer as long as he can and encourages others to help.
“We plan to come back several more times and help,” Bradford said. “I would just hope somebody would do it for me.”
To volunteer, contact a Volunteer Coordinator at 828-588-5711 at least 24 hours in advance to be scheduled to serve. Click here for more information on volunteering.