August 29, 2013
Group aids flood cleanup
Marathon church offers helping hand to Blodgett Mills residents
Bob Ellis/staff photographer
Marathon Baptist Church youth group member Wesley Baker clears debris from the backyard of Dale Weaver’s home in Blodgett Mills.
BLODGETT MILLS — Dale and Barbara Weaver were excited and grateful Wednesday evening as a group of volunteers, most of them youths, helped clean their house of damaged caused by a severe flood that hit the area on Aug. 8.
About a dozen members of a youth group from the First Baptist Church of Marathon helped the couple, who live on Kellogg Road, with the task of returning their lives back to normal.
Dawn Brown, who works at Virgil Elementary School, first brought the plight of the Weavers to the attention of her colleague, Cheryl Loope, a secretary at Virgil Elementary who in turn relayed their need to Pastor Chris Anderson, who heads her congregation.
“Everyone here is like my family,” said Brown, who has lived in Blodgett Mills all of her life. “I was worried about these guys (Weavers). I just want to see people get some assistance and get their lives back to what they’ve been.”
August’s rains hit the Weavers especially hard, as floodwaters penetrated their home, leaving water in their basement “up to the rafters” and destroying their hot water heater, furnace and tools among many other possessions. The water also left behind 8 inches of a fine muddy silt that still layers the floor of the basement and garage.
“I love it,” Dale Weaver said of the help he received. “Especially when you see the kids out. I’ve got to hand it to the kids.”
“When I told Dale about the group coming down to help, he said, ‘You’re kidding me. They’re still young people that do stuff like that?’” Brown said.
The cleanup crew spent the evening clearing debris from the Weaver’s front and back yards, hauling loose stone, dirt and broken limbs.
“We were surprised at how many kids we got,” Loope said.
Barbara Weaver, who recently returned home from a stay in the hospital, said she was very grateful for the outpouring of support that she saw.
“I think it’s fantastic. It shows how they were raised,” she said. “It shows they’re becoming great adults. They have big hearts.”
Wednesday night’s cleanup crew did not mind the hard work, knowing in their minds that the cause was a good one.
“It’s worth it,” said Amanda Thornton, a member of First Baptist’s youth group. “If someone has a need and you’re able to help, then why not?”
“We have a great group of teens who like to help,” Anderson said. “It encourages me as a pastor. You hear so much about kids who don’t want to help, but here we see them coming out and willing to give up their whole evening.”
Loope and Anderson said that if there was still a need for help with flood cleanup, they would not be adverse to putting another group together and lending a hand.
“God bless this group,” Brown said. “It does my heart good to see them out here.”
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