Valdosta community helps out their own - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Valdosta community helps out their own

July 18, 2006

Valdosta - Mae Gardner has been living with different family members since she got word her house burned almost a month ago.  "My daughter had a gymnastics meet in Pennsylvania so we were headed to Atlanta to catch an airplane when my son called to tell me that my house was burning down," said Mae Gardner.

Gardner continued to Pennsylvania where her daughter placed fourth in the National Competition but her return home was harder than she initially imagined.  "I couldn't go look at it at first. I just didn't want to see it. In fact, I avoided coming home for a while."

Once home she found the support from co-workers and community members was overwhelming.  "It was really a surprise that there was so much support."

First Baptist Antioch Church was one of the first to respond.  Deacon Benjamin Crawford says, "They need to be helped through the community and Antioch Baptist Church should be one to start. So we're going to gather clothing for them, we're going to give them some cash money."

Deacon Crawford says that the most important thing they can do is ask community churches and agencies to ban together in this family's time of need.  "Together we can make things happen. With one person, one church, there is very little we can do so I think the more there is to help in disasters, the merrier it is."

Gardner is still searching for a home and hopes to move in soon.

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