One Home, Many Hands


Friendsville, Blount County (WVLT) -- Many remember the Debuty family of Blount County, who lost four of their children when a fire destroyed their home back in February.

Volunteer TV's Kim Bedford was there Saturday as volunteers worked on building the Debuty family a new home.

One home, many hands.

"These guys realize that there is a family needing a home and they're waiting to move back here," said Brooks Brown with RM Technologies.

A volunteer project to help Ross and Amanda Debuty start over with their three year-old son Raymond.

"Raymond has it harder than everybody else because he went from having instantaneous playmates to having nobody built in," said Amanda.

Raymond lost his four siblings in the fire: 14 year-old Mandy Mason, 12 year-old JT Debuty, 10 year-old Sinjin Smith, and 7 year-old Shelbea Debuty.

"We've been having a rough time," said Amanda.

She says Raymond is in counseling, but the further along the new house gets, the more he feels his siblings could return.

"He has a perpetual hope," she says "that if it's put back, it'll all just go away and it'll be fine again."

Amanda says she and Ross are ready for change.

"I'm looking forward to it being different because I think it will be good for it to be different, but I also know it's going to be hard," she says.

Crews are building the new home where the last one once stood.

"This is the only house Raymond has ever known. All of the memories that he has that are good are here," said Amanda.

"The community has gotten behind the Debutys and made sure that they are being taken care of with this new home," said Gerry Eastman, President of Joseph Construction.

35 Joseph Construction workers and other community members weathered Saturday's storm to put in the floor system for the new home.

"It's exciting. I come by every day and I'm like, yeah, there's more done," Amanda said. "I say thank you a hundred times throughout the day and I still can't tell everybody thank you enough."

There are three more volunteer build days.

If you would like to pitch in for next Saturday or even for just a few hours, go to www.onehomemanyhands.com for more details.

The home is expected to be finished by the end of July.


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