College Students Surprise 85-Year-Old Flood Victim With Free Home Repairs

College students surprised an 85-year-old, disabled flood victim who lost his home.

HOUSTON - College students surprised an 85-year-old, disabled flood victim who lost his home.

He got free repairs, but it’s the volunteers saying thank you.

William Ford, 85, never pictured himself posing with two 20-somethings who thanked him for putting them to work. They went inside Ford’s home, pulled out his soggy dry wall, moldy furniture and everything ruined by Harvey. Dialysis and Ford’s achy back prevent him from doing it.

“They were respectful and helpful, so it’s hard to beat,” Ford said.

“To be able to come in and help him out a tough time in his life by doing all the heavy lifting and all the grunt work, it’s amazing,” Matthew Crowley said.

Humanity First sent 150 volunteers, mostly teens and youth. Many came from Houston’s Ahmadiyya Association. They chose to work in Kashmere Gardens where Ford’s next door neighbors are in their nineties. Few on their block have flood insurance or means to rebuild.

University of Houston fifth-year psychology major Rahman Nasir worked in the community two weeks with just one break because he feels he owes Houstonians.

“Being the most diverse city in the U.S., I’m normal here, and I might not have that advantage in different cities or different places, but Houston’s been so great to me,” Nasir said. “So I do owe my life to Houston.”

His group is not the only one helping. During the storm, Elmira Darrington, whose mother lives next door to Ford, helped lead him and several others hand-in-hand down Pardee Street to dump trucks waiting to haul evacuees to safety.

“If younger people weren’t around, I mean, they didn’t have anybody to help them,” Darrington said.

So while Crowley and Nasir work on Ford’s home, he waits at a relative’s house. He is thankful for his new friends.

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