– Power saws buzzed and electric drills whirred across the St. Louis area Saturday as volunteers with Rebuilding Together St. Louis performed much-needed repairs on more than 40 homes.
"The purpose is to reach out to those in the community, low income folks that really need help," said Rebuilding Together St. Louis House Captain Jerry Barbero. "Our primary focus is their safety and security."
Barbero is part of a team from Emerson who volunteered to make repairs to Ferguson resident Lisa Stegall's home. A recent surgery has kept Stegall out of work and bills out of her control are piling up.
"My homeowner's insurance went up to $4,000 a year because of the Ferguson unrest," said Stegall.
On the night of the grand jury decision vandals tore down Stegall's wooden fence. On Saturday volunteers built her a brand new one and tackled a number of other jobs Stegall couldn't afford to do on her own.
"They re-did my back porch. My garage had been broken in a couple of times. They replaced the door, re-framed it. We did a lot of yard work. We planted trees and flowers."
"It makes you feel good," said volunteer Kyle Mackey. "You're doing something right for not only the community but for what you're building for the future."
Stegall was so moved by the work of the volunteers, she's decided to pay it forward.
"Words can't express the gratitude that I have that a group of strangers would come and just be so willing to sit here all day and help.I'm going to help them do some solicitation and I'm also going to help them do some volunteer work going forward."