ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Albany chainsaw crews have been working around the clock to clean up the community from January storms.
One crew member tells WALB News 10 - long, hot days helping others has changed his life for the better.
"As soon as the second storm hit I put these boots on and I feel like I live in them," said Shane Waller.
After seeing the damage from the storms, Albany native Shane Waller wanted to help the many victims.
"This has been the biggest opportunity to do servants work for the community," said Waller.
Waller says he had to give back. Several years ago he was living a very different life in Albany.
"For almost 20 years I lived, I guess what you would say, the street life. Drugs, alcohol, running with gangs and that sort. I was in and out of jails," said Waller.
After going to a rehabilitation center in Fort Lauderdale Waller turned his life around. He's done some work in Albany since being back, opening his own ministry and helping guide people who were on the streets.... But he says storm volunteering...has been the most beneficial.
"I know it's a calling. I know God's called me to it. It's been five or six months strong and this is the longest I've ever volunteered for anything," said Waller.
Through volunteering, Waller has helped homeowners through their storm-related struggles. And found many storm victims also had the same difficulties he once faced.
"They've always got a son, daughter, aunt, uncle, somewhere in the family that is struggling with that alcoholism, drug disease and they always reach out," said Waller.
For now, Waller will lace up his boots every day until Dougherty County is cleaned up from the storms. And with each yard cleared... he says he's given a gift. The gift of friendship.
"The friendships out here with the community with the homeowners is just unreal," said Waller.
Waller says he was a stay at home dad of three before starting his volunteer work.
The chainsaw crews are always looking for donations.
If you'd like to help the Albany Chain Gang, you can contact Tom Gieryic at (229) 384-5993. County residents can also stop by the Keep Albany-Dougherty Clean offices at 2106 Habersham Road to pick up a storm relief release form.
If you'd like to learn more about Waller's ministry, you can do so here.
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