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Neighbors restore security for family’s Christmas fixing storm-damaged house

A North Fort Myers family doesn’t have a roof over their heads after a storm ripped it off last week, but neighbors made sure they still have a safe home for Christmas.

For the second time, a storm has stolen Brenda Lewis and her family’s roof.

“Depressed,” Lewis said. “We had Irma come through and take off part of the roof. Fema fixed that.”

With the damage to their home causing the same issue a second time so soon after having it prepared, it is daunting for Lewis especially during the holiday season.

“Just ready to give up,” Lewis said. “I’m like ‘Was that our roof?’”

But, Lewis’ neighbors combined their big hearts to outdo the Grinch storm that tried to steal her family’s home.

“Within 10 to 15 minutes, the neighbors started showing up,” Lewis said. “It wasn’t long. I mean people I had never met … before.”

The community wrapped up Lewis’ home like a present. Neighbors like Roxanne Kelley helped to bring Christmas to the Lewis family.

“James was the first one over here with the Sawzall over here,’ Kelley said. “Popped on this roof.”

Neighbors tied bows on buckets and cinder blocks, stashed under a tree. Neighbors continued to gather in order to fix the damaged home.

The Lewis family plans to spend Christmas at home, planning to contact FEMA and contractors after the holiday. Instead of Santa’s sleigh, a golf cart sits atop the patched roof at the Lewis home. A sense of security has been returned to the family and restored by friends.

“It was amazing,” Lewis said.

Reporter:Anika Henanger
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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