(WKRG) — Just pieces of wood, something you may even want to throw away but, for Patrick Etheridge and Cameron King each piece is a reminder of the impact two strangers can have on a community that was hurting. “I just felt called to do it.”
As Irma approached Florida they began collecting donations. Once the storm had passed, they packed up a trailer and headed to South Florida with no definite destination until they heard about a place south of Fort Myers. “There was an area of Bonita Springs that got hit really hard,” said Etheridge, so that’s where they went. Almost as soon as they arrived, they got to work. “We looked for people who were either trying to help themselves or help others.”
They cut trees, cleared debris, patched roofs, “We were there to love on people,” says King. “We were there to do the work that they necessarily couldn’t do themselves.”
With each job completed came a souvenir whether it be a slice of a tree they had cut down or a piece of metal siding that had blown away. Each piece they brought home had a name, date and a story.
“This is Mary Ellen,” says Etheridge holding a slice of a tree as big as a small pizza, “she was a lady who didn’t have power in her own home. She didn’t have the resources yet she was out trying to find whoever needed help before herself.”
The person King remembers most, “John Connolly was a 70-year-old man. He lost probably 75 percent of the roof of his home.”
Their hard work left an impression and maybe even an example for others. Showing once again, when mother nature is at her worse, human nature can be at its best.