Volunteers dedicate 50th home since Bastrop fires

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by ANDREW CHUNG / KVUE News and photojournalist DOUG NAUGLE

Bio | Email | Follow: @AndrewC_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on March 8, 2013 at 7:25 PM

Updated Friday, Mar 8 at 7:41 PM

BASTROP COUNTY, Texas -- With the help of music, a quilt and a prayer, the Flores family received their new home Friday built by volunteers.

This home stood out because it was the 50th home built in this area by the Bastrop County Long Term Recovery Team.

The nonprofit organization, along with both local and out-of-state volunteers, came to the community of Paige, Texas to help rebuild the Flores' home. Construction of the new home took eight weeks.  Their old home was destroyed by the fires in September 2011.

The family's daughter, Sandra Gonzales, remembered seeing the devastation.

"It was sad, a very sad moment. We had lost everything, all our memories, everything was gone. Very, very sad. It was sad to see my parents crying," she said.

Some of the families that lost homes in the fires had their case reviewed by the Bastrop County Long Term Recovery Team. If the family was low-income, their home was uninsured or underinsured, and they did not have the means to get back on their feet, the nonprofit group recommended their home be rebuilt.

Trenton Jantzi, a volunteer with the Mennonite Disaster Service, came from Michigan to help rebuild the Flores' home. 

"It feels good to help people out in the community, even though you don't really know them. (It) just feels good to help them," he said.

Christine Files, president of the Bastrop County Long Term Recovery Team, was thrilled.

"These are thriving members of our community, and it's absolutely incredible that we've been able to get fifty families back into their homes," Files said.

Humberto Flores couldn't be happier moving into his new home.

“We’re very happy and very grateful to everyone who came to help build our new home,” he said.

Outside the new home, flowers blooming on a tree branch were a hopeful sign of recovery for the Flores family and their neighborhood.

 

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