Gatlinburg family gets keys to brand new home one year after wildfires

GATLINBURG, Tenn. (WATE)–11-28 is a date that will forever be remembered in Gatlinburg; but those numbers are significant to one Gatlinburg family in more ways than one. 1128 is the street number of Susan Melchor’s home that was lost but is now rebuilt.

“I can’t put it in words,” said Melchor. “It’s more than I’ve ever expected. Even down to a bed that was brought to me last night. That’s the most comfortable bed I’ve ever slept on in my life.”

Melchor and her son David, like many others, lost everything in the wildfires, including hope, but one disaster relief organization out of Indiana stepped in.

“The whole reason we do what we do is our mission statement, ‘bringing hope at the hand of service to those in need’ and that’s ultimately what we want to do,” said Scott Shipman with Helping His Hands.

Melchor says without the group she and her son would be living in a much smaller home.

“my house, what insurance I was able to get, probably would have paid for maybe a two bedroom mobile home,” said Melchor. “Instead they took what I had and multiplied it. The results are just amazing.”

Melchor’s home is one of two homes Helping His Hands built in Gatlinburg. Shipman says between the two they saved $240,000 in labor alone.

To learn more about Helping His Hands go to their website.

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