TEAMeffort rebuilds homes, dreams following Hurricane Irma

By Don Coble Managing Editor
Posted 7/2/19

MIDDLEBURG – It was difficult to maneuver around the stacks of lumber, empty Gatorade bottles and opened boxes of nails, but Beverly Poole happily danced around the clutter.

Children from …

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TEAMeffort rebuilds homes, dreams following Hurricane Irma

Posted

MIDDLEBURG – It was difficult to maneuver around the stacks of lumber, empty Gatorade bottles and opened boxes of nails, but Beverly Poole happily danced around the clutter.

Children from TEAMeffort continued to work on a new home after Hurricane Irma destroyed her old one nearly two years ago. And while the interior is crudely defined by framing, she already can envision how she’s going to decorate.

“I can’t wait to get my waterbed in here,” she said. “I’m so excited.”

TEAMeffort is a group of high school children from around the country who donate a week of labor for worthy causes. Poole’s home was so severely damaged by hurricanes Matthew and Irma, she’s been forced to live in a travel trailer. TEAMeffort coordinates youth group missions, and they picked Poole as one of their projects.

Last week’s group came from Orlando. Teams from North Carolina and Georgia also have worked on Poole’s home.

The teenagers are refurbishing an old portable classroom. They’ve completed the roofing and currently are framing the interior. The goal is to get Poole into her new home by the end of August.

“It’s been a lot of fun to see where this is going,” Poole said. “It’s starting to look good. My other place fell apart on me and I couldn’t get any help. After the hurricane [Irma] I was staying at the shelter at Orange Park High. When I came home, everything was destroyed. The wall was caved in, the roof was gone.”

The youth groups clearly earn a lot of sweat equity. There’s no air conditioning or protection from the gnats and mosquitos that quickly turns a good deed into a labor of love.

“We go through a lot of bug spray,” said Isabella Guizzetti. “It’s a lot of hard work. When we go back to the camp, there’s always a big rush for a shower. But it’s all worth it. You can see what it means to Miss Beverly.”

The groups stay at the TEAMeffort camp in Lake Asbury. Since 1993, TEAMeffort has brought in more than 150,000 teens and church leaders to work on life-changing, faith-building experiences.

For Poole, it’s a chance to finally walk into a home that doesn’t rock or creak with each step. While she’s appreciative of the travel trailer, a lot of her belongings have to be stored in a shed in the backyard. When the new place is completed, she finally will have everything, including her pit bull and two cats, under the same roof.

“I can’t wait for something sturdy,” she said. “I know there’s a lot of work to do, but I can see it coming together. I can’t wait to be in my home.”

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