Port Aransas family moves into brand new home rebuilt by long-term recovery organizations

Donna Youngblood received the keys to her brand-new, three-bedroom, two-bathroom home today alongside of friends and representatives from the organizations that helped her. Coastal Bend Disaster Recovery Group (CBDRG), New Day Port A Fund, Sandcastle Church and Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) worked together to bring this family back home.

Youngblood, her daughter and three grandchildren, evacuated to Dallas and stayed with a family friend while Hurricane Harvey wreaked havoc on the place they called home. Immediately after the storm, Youngblood and her friend Bobbie went around town helping others clean up their disaster-stricken homes. “I knew people needed help and this was the best way I knew how to help them,” Youngblood shared.

The family lived in South Padre Island for 10 months after the storm until Youngblood was able to purchase an RV with money she had received. When she started working with CBDRG Case Manager, Christopher Brandt, he gave her the news that she was going to be a recipient of a rebuilt home, and she was in total shock. “I just couldn’t believe it,” Youngblood exclaimed. “I couldn’t believe I was getting any type of help especially with all the other people still in need.”

After receiving that news, Youngblood moved her RV onto her manager’s property in Aransas Pass and would travel back and forth living there and in Port Aransas with Bobbie. 23 months after Harvey’s landfall, Youngblood finally has a place she can call home again. “I am just overwhelmed with joy,” Youngblood continued. “I want to thank everyone for helping and caring enough to do this. I am so happy to be back in this house, on this island and in my home with my family and friends that I love.”

Funding for the home came through a combination of CBDRG through a donation from the Howard E. Butt, Jr. family, New Day Port A and Sandcastle Church in Port Aransas. Grants from Samaritan’s Purse and Save the Children were used to furnish the home and the Coastal Bend Food Bank donated perishable and non-perishable food items to the family. “New Day Port A/Chamber of Commerce Foundation is proud to be a part of the Coastal Bend Disaster Recovery Group’s efforts of rebuilding Port Aransas homes,” said Sheri Johnson, Program Manager, New Day Port A. “After 23 months, today’s home dedication is another milestone for resident Donna Youngblood as she is able to return to her new home in her community. We know that Donna will be even more elated when she welcomes her grandchildren into her new home with loving, open arms very soon.”

Youngblood’s home marks the 32ndhome dedication ceremony by CBDRG and their partners. CBDRG, in partnership with several other non-profits, have completed 153 major home reconstruction projects thus far and is continuing to work on another 52 on-going projects. All of this is possible thanks to the generous donors and hardworking volunteers. CBDRG continues to seek volunteers who range from skilled-laborers to general help. To learn more about the CBDRG and to fill open volunteer positions, visit www.coastalbenddrg.org/volunteer.

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