Matthews church is clearing neighbors’ fallen trees at no cost

Church helping families clean up storm damage

MATTHEWS, N.C. (WBTV) - Neighbors in Matthews are some of the hardest hit by last Thursday’s storms - and a local church is now stepping in to help.

“It’s been a very long week,” Katie Menard in the Settler’s Landing neighborhood says.

Roofs are tarped and work is underway, but there is still a lot to do, including the pricey task of removing fallen trees.

“It’s an overwhelming number for people who have multiple trees down, even one tree down,” Menard says. “We’ve heard the city can come help also, but they’ve been given time quotes of four to six weeks.”

So, her Matthews church is taking on some of that work – for free.

“We mobilized about a hundred people in the last week so far,” Carmel Baptist Executive Pastor David Bass says.

The church has been organizing, gathering people in their congregation and others, with the skills and equipment needed.

“People just wanting to love their neighbors,” Angela Schlottman says.

They are finding which families in their neighborhood need help, and have already served 16.

“There’s been something for almost everybody to do,” Schlottman says. “And they’ve been willing to do it.”

Friday, they will add four more families to that list, and they plan to continue. They say this is what community is supposed to look like.

“Sometimes, unfortunately, you don’t see it play out until tragedy or until a disaster happens,” Schlottman says. “So, having this opportunity to literally work side by side with a common cause and a common purpose is a beautiful glimpse of what it’s supposed to be like.”

Community members who do not know how to safely work a chainsaw have been fixing lunches for the ones who do. Some people have been going around with towels and fans drying out flooded homes.

They will be right back out in the Settler’s Landing neighborhood Friday morning to work.

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