Matthew 25 helping derecho victims repair homes ahead of winter

Published: Nov. 22, 2020 at 6:40 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - The sound of drilling and boarding up windows on his Cedar Rapids home is a sound Adam Nowotny didn’t think he’d hear for a while, after the August derecho.

During the storm, down trees just missed his home, but it still suffered some significant damage.

“One tree almost landed on our house, but there were a bunch of trees here that caught it. The windows basically exploded from the wind,” said Nowotny. “I’ve never seen a storm like this in my 35 years of life.”

More than three months later, he is still recovering, trying to make repairs to his home, and thanks to an effort from Matthew 25, that needed work got done.

“Right now, the priority is on projects that will help people get prepared for the winter,” said Jana Bodensteiner, Matthew 25′s Director Development and Communications.

Through their PATCH Program, they are making repairs to the homes of derecho victims ahead of winter.

“We’ve got people who still have water coming in through their homes, people with holes in their roofs and walls and we’re really trying to get things closed up through roof patching or tarping whatever it takes to be safe and secure for the winter,” said Bodensteiner.

That’s a big help financially for people like Nowotny.

“Buying a generator after the derecho really drained my savings so having them doing this and saving me money on getting my porch winterized is a huge help,” he said.

Bodensteiner says Nowtny’s home is one of 7 they plan to make repairs to this weekend. Across town, volunteers like Kent Landhuis were hard at work repairing the skirting and roof of this trailer home.

“There’s people who are not able to do the work themselves or don’t have resources, and we have a bunch of capable guys and love to help out so we’re glad to jump in and do the work,” said Landhuis.

The organization’s goal is to have 100 homes done before winter, but it’s going to take more helping hands, since they lost volunteers because of the pandemic.

“So we definitely are looking at volunteers that are willing to get on roofs that have skills when it comes to patching and tarping,” said Bodensteiner.

Most importantly, they are seeking volunteers with a motivation to help those who need it most.

If people want to volunteer, they can visit Matthew 25′s website to learn more.

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