JACKSONVILLE, Ark. – A group of volunteers from around the country are working to restore the homes and the faith of some in Jacksonville still working to recover from the March 31 tornado.

The North American Lutheran Church Disaster Response Team has a team of about 16 people working to rebuild four homes and plans to have them finished by Friday.

With tools in hand and hearts for service, volunteers from across the country work to restore hope in the lives of homeowners in Jacksonville.

Volunteer KC Reed came from Minnesota to help out and said when his team gets the call they go.

“We go where we can probably do the most good in a short amount of time,” he explained.

Mary Bates, another NALC volunteer, was among the first of the team in Jacksonville, hitting the ground ahead of the building team to see where they can have the biggest impact.

“I come in two weeks early and visit families and identify those who do not have insurance,” Bates said.

“She contacted us and had several or many homeowners down here that needed some help, significant help,” Reed added.

Using donations and volunteers, the teams got to work. Bates knows from personal experience how much a helping hand in a hard time can do for a family.

“A tornado struck my 4-year-old split-level brand-new house and completely destroyed it,” Bates recalled.

Remembering how the church helped her fuels Bates to serve in places like Jacksonville struck by disaster, and she said the volunteers are always looking for more hands to help.

“We need more volunteers,” Bates said. “There are families in Jacksonville that we are not able to serve in just this one week that I have volunteers here. We need more churches to come to the area and help out.”

“There are so many people who need so much,” Reed added.

Homeowners looking for assistance or help from the North American Lutheran Church after a disaster can visit TheNALC.org/Disaster.