Youth group, rootball volunteers help grateful homeowner - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Youth group, rootball volunteers help grateful homeowner

(Source: WALB) (Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB) (Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB) (Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB) (Source: WALB)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

A youth group from metro Atlanta is dedicating the next two to three years helping Albany recover from the storms.

A dozen teenagers from Saint James United Methodist Church in Alpharetta spent Thursday morning cleaning up a backyard in Radium Springs.

The owner, James Crawford, said this is the first helping hand his family has received since the tornado.

Crawford is just a few weeks away from moving his family, including two young sons ages 6 and 7, into the home.

The backyard is still full of debris, and it's dangerous for the children to play.

Crawford was overwhelmed by the help.

"But, it just shows you no matter how bad it is in the world right now, there are still good people out there. There are still people willing to help others in a time of need," said Crawford.

"At the level of devastation that has taken place, it is amazing to see. First of all, to respect the power of mother nature, but also to see how it has impacted so many lives, people being homeless and in great need, overnight," said youth minister Wil Rhodes.

Rhodes said his church plans on doing multiple mission trips to Albany.

Crawford said he wished he could properly thank the volunteers for their help.

He invited them back for a pool party in his backyard next summer.

The youth group has been welcomed warmly in Albany, including with a breakfast Thursday morning hosted by Cutliff Grove Baptist Church.

Albany Mayor Dorothy Hubbard was there to thank them.

The youth group will be working through Saturday.

And, it was a big day on the road to recovery for the Crawford family.

While the mission group was out cleaning the backyard, the county's storm clean-up contractor, Ceres, rolled up to pick up several root-balls from the home.

And, volunteers with Keep Albany-Dougherty Beautiful and Charlie Freeman Ministries were on hand pulling root-balls curbside, using equipment donated from Flint Ag.

If you have damage from the January 22 tornado they can also help you get root-balls to the curb.

If you need help, you can contact Keep Albany Dougherty Beautiful at 229-430-5257.

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