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By Steven Iles of the Western Kentucky Star

On Friday, Homes and Hope for Kentucky, a non-profit organization established by the Mayfield Rotary Foundation, broke ground on their first of many planned new homes in Graves County.

The project’s goal is to rebuild up to 100 homes, and repair many others.

At the the first home site on North Sixth Street, Heather Nesler, Homes and Hope for Kentucky co-chair, said, “Our guests of honor today are certainly the families who have lost their homes.”

To accomplish its goal, Homes and Hope have partnered with Mennonite Disaster Services. This faith-based initiative is donating the labor cost for the new homes, and have over 70 years of experience repairing and rebuilding homes in disaster zones.

Darin Borntrager with MDS said, “While the main focus is on clean up, the repair and rebuilding of homes, this service touches lives and nurtures hope, faith and wholeness.”

He said they have put in a request to their board of directors to provide $20,000 to each of the first ten homes.

Graves County commissioner Tyler Goodman quoted Mayfield fire chief Jeremy Creason, who said, “The buildings are gone, but the town is still here.”

“The organizations here today have had a small part in starting the rebuilding process with this right here,” Goodman said. “So, the buildings will come back, the people are still here, and the town is still here.”

A major boost to the project came from an organization that knows a lot about rebuilding after a disaster. Tunnels to Towers from New York presented an initial donation of $250,000.

Retired FDNY Battalion Chief Jack Home said, “Any day that you can bring home people and start work on their houses, to me, that is a beautiful day.”

He said, “On 9/11 America saw the worst of humanity and in the morning, afternoon and nine months after, America responded with the best of humanity. So I see the goodness of America right here with everyone who has partnered with this organization.”

Governor Andy Beshear concluded the groundbreaking ceremony with a message of hope.

He said, “We have seen destruction; we have seen debris. So how good does it feel to see rebuilding.”

He added, “This is a hopeful day and Mayfield deserves to see a good day. We saw a night and day of destruction, tragedy and loss. But since we have seen days of hope, love and outpouring of support from this community, state and nation and from you, they have seen strength.”


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