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Sunday School class renovates kitchen ruined by storm

In the year since Hurricane Matthew caused widespread damage at Kennedy Home (KH), thousands of volunteers have converged on the Kinston campus to help with clean up and restoration efforts.

One of the toughest projects proved to be the KH gymnasium where flood water ravaged the floor as well as destroyed the commercial-size kitchen.

The project, from a cost and labor standpoint, looked impossible until the White Life Group, a Sunday School class from Apex Baptist Church, stepped forward to remodel the entire kitchen.

“When Matthew came through and did all the damage, our class kicked into gear and tried to help as much as possible.” said class member Cindy Wiest.

The class has been involved in projects at both KH and Mills Home in Thomasville over the years.

“One thing we do have in our class is men who are willing and able to build cabinets,” Wiest said.

Paul White, the Sunday School teacher and professional cabinet maker, had the expertise to build brand new cabinets.

“They worked on the cabinets during the week when they could, spending many late nights in the shop,” Wiest said.

The group bought materials at Lowes in Apex where they received a generous discount.

“It was a group effort,” Wiest said. “The men estimate that more than 500 hours of work was done.”

The group worked throughout August until mid-September to complete the project. In addition to building the cabinets, the class installed them, added the backsplash tile, and installed the new island in the middle of the kitchen.

Once the installation was complete, the class helped with the clean-up process so class member Lee Stephens, a professional electrician, could tackle the electrical work.

“It was amazing how the class came together to get everything installed and completed,” said KH director Brian Baltzell. “We saved thousands of dollars because of their labor of love.”

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