Volunteers needed to help build homes for Fruitvale tornado victims

Melanie and Damon Williams’ home in Fruitvale, TX was wiped clean by the tornado. The family hopes to rebuild, using the same concrete slab. (Photo by Town of Flower Mound)

Volunteers are needed this weekend and next to help build new homes for Fruitvale residents whose houses were destroyed by a tornado last April.

Tornadoes devastated the rural East Texas town on April 29, 2017 and local officials and mayors helped organize fundraisers for the victims, but then they wanted to do more to help them clean up and rebuild.

Flower Mound Mayor Tom Hayden came to a Cross Timbers Rotary Club meeting to tell them about the aid needed in Fruitvale, and David Eiland, owner of Eiland Construction, went with other members to help with the cleanup effort. They’re now working to restore homes for four families: donations went toward helping two to get new homes, and two more are being rebuilt.

Flower Mound Emergency Management Officer Brandon Barth (left) and Fire Chief Eric Greaser delivered gift cards, generously donated by Flower Mound residents, to Fruitvale City Secretary Susan Murre.

One of the homes being rebuilt is for a husband and wife who both serve as sheriff deputies, and the other is for one of their mothers.

“I think everybody should have a place to live,” Eiland said. “This was the way I grew up, neighbors help neighbors.”

For the past few Saturdays, Eiland and many other local volunteers have been constructing the homes. The walls for one home have already been built and transported to Fruitvale. This Saturday, volunteers are needed to help build the walls for one of the homes in the parking lot of the Flower Mound Lowe’s store, 6200 Long Prairie Road.

Next Saturday, “we need a large volunteer effort of people to go to Fruitvale,” Eiland said. There, volunteers will put a roof on the first house and stand the walls for the second one.

“There’s lots of work to do,” Eiland said.

If you’re interested in helping, contact Eiland at 817-988-4536.

Mark Smith
Mark Smith
Mark Smith is the Digital Editor of The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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