Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

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March 25, 2014

Amish youth group helps build Habitat home in Moore

Family rebuilding lives after May 20 tornado

MOORE — “Raise that wall.” Three little words that mean a lot to a Moore family who are starting to rebuild their lives after May 20 changed them forever.

On Monday afternoon, amongst mounds of dirt, stacks of sheetrock and the sounds of hammers and table saws, those three words were victoriously announced by Pastor Craig Wright of Faith Crossing Baptist Church. The walls, which were built earlier Monday morning, were being raised at 816 SW 10th St. in Moore by the Hutchinson Amish Youth Group for Yannet Hodson and her son Nathaniel, 12. Hodson and Nathaniel lost everything in the May tornado.

“Last night I could not sleep. There was so much on my mind,” Yannet said.

Monday’s project was the start of 10 properties that will be built in tornado stricken areas by Cleveland County Habitat for Humanity.

Prior to Monday’s wall raising, Linda Banta, executive director of CCHFH thanked the many volunteers, staff, City of Moore officials and board members that made the event possible.

“One thing that makes me think is that as horrid as the tornado was and the devastation from the tornado, it brings out the undercover angels,” Banta said.

Banta also noted that Monday’s wall raising was made possible through gracious funds provided by people who donated through various ways after the storms.

“With continued support of our sponsors and volunteers, we’ll address affordable housing needs in Cleveland County and over the next year, specifically rebuild Moore,” Banta said.

Yannet spoke to the crowd of about 40 who were on hand for the wall raising. Yannet was one of the first families to come to CCHFH to apply for a house after the tornado.

“I don’t know any of them (Hutchinson Amish Youth Group) and they are giving their time and their effort and leaving their families for a little while,” Yannet said. “I couldn’t have done this without you guys. I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart. My son and I are indebted to you.”

The area of the Hodson’s new home is not the exact spot where they lived before the tornado.

“I used to live in a duplex on the other side (of the neighborhood.) A friend told me that people were selling their lots, but they were too expensive. Finally, this one came through,” Yannet said. “It’s been so hopeful for a brighter, better future. We have a dog and he is part of my family. Our dog needs a backyard. Now we are in an apartment and we just can’t wait.”

Nate said that he too is excited for the future of a new home.

“Just the feeling of having a new house, to start over, fresh,” he said.

Even though the last few months have been painful, Yannet said she never gave a second thought about leaving Moore.

“The schools are really good. My priority is Nathaniel’s school. I didn’t think about anything else because I like the neighborhood here. It’s quiet other than the scary time with the tornado,” Yannet said.

Currently living in Oklahoma City, Yannet said they floated among various families for two months after the tornado. She’s thankful for them and she’s thankful for her church family at Faith Crossing.

“I’m very blessed to have my church family. I’m just grateful nothing else happened because some of those momma’s lost their babies so I can’t complain. It’s unthinkable,” Yannet said.

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