Volunteers rebuild home for Gatlinburg wildfire survivor

GATLINBURG (WATE) – Friday marks eight months since the devastating wildfires in Gatlinburg and around Sevier County. While the scars are still visible there is also hope as people are giving so generously.

One example is the Appalachian Service Project, partnering with the Mountain Tough organization to rebuild homes lost in the fire.

With a new set of keys, Glenna Oakland is the owner of a brand new home built just for her.

“A good place to sleep and peace and quiet,” she said.

Previous story: Volunteer East Tennessee helping to build 25 Sevier County homes

She lost her home, her car and her beloved dogs, but now she hopes for a new start. The Appalachian Service Project and Mountain Tough, and several volunteers, came together to build the home.

“This is a start of a new beginning for her and a new day. She’s got a lot of spirit, a lot of life, and she’s going to make this house into a home. She love’s gardening and I can’t wait to see this place in about a year,” said Walter Crouch with Appalachian Service Project.

Even though Oakland is one of the first to receive one of these homes, she says it has been a long time coming.

“It’s been a long nine months, but I’ve done a lot of praying and a lot of believing,” she said.

Twenty-four more homes will follow hers, something Mountain Tough and ASP are proud to be a part of.

“It’s really a joy to see. I know there is a lot of people that have been a part of making something like this possible. A lot of hands have pitched in and helped and you know, with Mountain Tough are proud to be a very small part of this.” said Jeff Conyers with Mountain Tough.

 

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