Wed. Jan 19th, 2022
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Carolina Rebuilding Ministry is repairing homes for the most vulnerable residents of Bertie County–our senior citizens and lowest-income homeowners.

Owning a home is the most common way that everyday people accumulate wealth. But all too often, homeowners become unable to afford the cost of maintenance. That barrier is especially burdensome for people on a fixed income.

That’s where Carolina Building Ministry comes in, as you can see from their mission statement:

Reducing poverty by empowering home ownership.

Carolina Rebuilding Ministry, Mission Statement

Most of the people who request their help are senior citizens, including elderly citizens. They typically have the physical capability of aging at home with dignity. However, they sometimes lack the financial resources to keep their homes in good repair, not to mention their sometimes diminished physical strength.

Besides community elders, Carolina Rebuilding Ministry also helps other residents who need a helping hand. Typically, the second category consists of single mothers who don’t have the means to maintain repairs. Often, these neighbors struggle to put food on the table and cannot afford home upkeep.

Bertie News reached out to Reverend Jason Duvall, the Executive Director of this ministry, to learn more. The reach of this project is tremendous.

They perform home fixes that range from adding wheelchair ramps to patching leaky roofs to repairing rotting flooring. In doing so, they increase the safety and wellness of our most at-risk neighbors.

The Beginnings of Carolina Rebuilding Ministry

Based in Plymouth, Carolina Rebuilding Ministry currently provides service within three North Carolina counties: Bertie, Chowan, and Washington.

They started this program in 2011 as Christians Reaching Out in Sacred Service (CROSS), a ministry of the Plymouth United Methodist Church.

After deploying a team to help with Hurricane Irene cleanup in Washington County, church leadership noticed that some of the homes around the region needed some TLC. They decided to form a new ministry to address those needs.

Over the years, the program expanded, and they grew from the Plymouth area to Bertie and Chowan counties with the help of a 2017 Duke endowment.

Carolina Rebuilding Ministry team, 2019 photo, used with express consent.

How Carolina Rebuilding Ministry Impacts Bertie County Today

Reverend Duvall shared how their current list of applicants totals 80 homeowners who need their help. Of those, 23 people reside in Bertie.

Carolina Rebuilding Ministry has a full-time case manager, Carolyn Edmonds, who assists the applicants with more than just applying for home repairs. A social worker by trade, Edmonds also points them to other resources that they may overlook on their own.

They provide home repair services via a small army of local volunteers who come from “all walks of life,” according to Duvall. In fact, the pastor is very proud of the people who come out to make a difference in the less fortunate lives.

Speaking of the volunteers, Duvall says the following:

“By fixing homes, we empower people to change their lives.”

Pastor Jason Duvall

In addition to Duvall, the program receives input from a Board of Directors. Bertie County Commissioner Ronald Wesson and local pastor Reverend Anthony Ward represent our county on the board.

Do You Need Help?

If you or somebody you know could use their help, Duvall invites you to speak with Ms. Edmonds. She can provide guidance from there, including explaining income qualifications.

How to Volunteer

Perhaps you’d like to help, but you are not handy. Besides construction, volunteers can help with social media, clerical work, prayer, and organizing teams. So even if you’re not convenient, you can put your talent to good use. Of course, like all non-profit organizations, they also gratefully accept monetary donations.

Interested volunteers may visit the Carolina Building Ministry website to learn more, then call Reverend Duvall to connect with him at their office. The phone number is 252.741.9502. Additionally, you can learn more about this important mission by visiting the group’s Facebook page.

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