Darlington family says thank you for rebuilt home

DARLINGTON COUNTY, SC (WMBF) A Darlington family celebrated their home being rebuilt after a tornado destroyed it in 2010.

Recently, family and friends gathered at a cookout as Johnny and Marie Melton said thank you for everyone's help in building the house of their dreams.

Melton said, "It's hard to put into words to have everything destroyed in a matter of seconds-it's a terrible feeling like where do I go from here."

Marie and Johnny Melton say a lot of emotion runs through you when you lose your home in a tornado especially without any warning, but they say friends like Bobby Dubose were the first ones to come to help.

Bobby DuBose said, "Went up to the house and Marie and them started getting out from under the debris so we got them out of that and started rounding up the horses." The Meltons say they were able to put their lives back together largely because of the donations of local businesses who brought food and local construction companies like Campbell's Roofing.

Stephanie Campbell, owner of Campbell's Roofing said, "We tarped the house and saved everything we could for them and when it became daylight the next day we brought out crew of men over here and helped them clean up."

Friends spent hundreds of hours working to help the family clean up. CW Grant said, "Hope I'm never on the receiving end; I'm on the giving end. Most valuable thing you can give anybody is your time whether you know them or not. I've known them for years and have been good friends."

Even complete strangers like Ryan Magnus say helping the Melton's was part of the community's outreach. "I felt like if this were to happen to my family there would be more than enough people coming to assist me and like we spoke of before I didn't have any idea who the Meltons were."

The Meltons say construction started in September of 2010 and they moved in their new home in April.

All along the way they gained some life-long friends, and along with the crowd of friends a special surprise phone call for the Meltons from Governor Mark Sanford.

Marie Melton said, "It means a lot because we invited him to come because of mainly what he had done for us. He had us up at the governor's mansion."

The Meltons are finishing up rebuilding their barn and hope it will be completed within the next six months.

Copyright 2011 WMBF News. All rights reserved.