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Van family receives house in a box from volunteer groups – – tyler, longview, jacksonville

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It was a special day for one Van family who lost everything in a tornado back in May.

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul, District Council of Tyler, The Knights of Columbus of Tyler, and Mercy Ships Warehouse gathered together to help provide household items that may go overlooked after a disaster.

create house


Together they assembled a “House in a Box” for Carmen and Maria Landaverde and their two children.

“It’s a chance for a bunch of us to come together and each of us do a little bit to do a little bit of help for people that need the help,” said Catholic volunteer Duane Musgrave.

house in a box


It’s not the “house” that may come to mind, rather, everything that goes inside a home.

Rob Nunziato, Logistics Manager for Mercy Ships, says when disaster strikes families need, “linens, sheets, pillows, in addition to the things everyone thinks about, which are the bed, the tables, the couches, the chairs.”

bulid a house


“We got the call that we were going to get all this and I was like, wow!'” said Carmen Landaverde. “You think about getting the house, but you don’t think about all the stuff you need.”

construction house


Carmen stated he will never forget the tremendous loss his entire family experienced.

“You don’t know what to do,” said Carmen. “There’s so much stuff, you don’t know where to start. You don’t know what’s going to happen, you can’t live in that house anymore.”

house box


Carmen and Maria say they have been overwhelmed by their community’s outpouring of love and support.

“I was happy and I feel very blessed,” said Maria Landaverde. “Since the tornado, we’ve been so blessed.”

It’s a blessing they say they’ve needed to get their family back on their feet after disaster.

House in a Box says they plan to provide more “homes in a box” to families in Van until February of 2016.

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