Volunteers travel over 1,000 miles to help clear debris from Hurricane Michael in Marianna

Published: Jan. 23, 2020 at 5:36 PM EST
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By: Brandon Spencer | WCTV Eyewitness News

January 23, 2020

MARIANNA, Fla. (WCTV) -- Cleanup continues well over a year after Hurricane Michael ripped through North Florida and South Georgia.

But, two people are helping cleanup the mess left behind; they've traveled more than 1,000 miles to lend a helping hand.

"Some people are just so overwhelmed with what they see that, they say, 'Where do I start?' And because of that, they don't start," said Marianne Fitzgerald, a Mission 850 Volunteer.

Minnesotans Marianne and her husband, Gary, knew they wanted to help.

"Well, we don't have hurricanes in northern Minnesota and we just saw all the devastation for miles and miles and a lot of people can't afford to have everything done, so we thought we'd help a little," Gary said.

Using the chainsaw he's used his whole life as a log-home builder, Gary shreds through debris surrounding homes that may sometimes feeling helpless because there is so much to be done.

"If you drive around, there is so much stuff that isn't done," Gary said. "I've seen trees on houses and there's a lot of work to do, a lot of work."

Right now, the workload outweighs the workers, and the Fitzgerald's ask the community to find organizations, like Mission 850, to help ease the load.

"Mission 850 is the contact for us and they have done more work and finished up to make more lives better by what they've done," Marianne adds.

While Gary wants to help fix it all, his wife reminds him that he changes a life every time he steps out.

"He may not have made a big difference in the world, but he made a big difference to the person he worked for that day," she said.

For more on Mission 850,

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