Moving day arrives for Ringgold tornado victim
RINGGOLD, CATOOSA COUNTY (WRCB)-- For one Ringgold woman, the third time is the charm, as she will finally get her dream home after losing everything in the April tornadoes.
JoPearl Adams had lived in the same home for 47 years.
She rode out the storms safely inside a closet, but the dream home her sons were building next door was destroyed.
But she quickly found out how generous members of her community could be. The Ringgold grandmother received multiple donations.
The largest contribution was for $20,000, which came anonymously from a businessman.
Volunteers also helped her sons with construction.
Although it took longer than expected, the home JoPearl has been waiting is ready for moving day!
"Did you know this many people in Ringgold loved you?" says Channel 3 Eyewitness News Reporter Megan Boatwright to Adams. "No," she replies with a laugh. "I sure didn't, but they do."
Monday is a special day for Adams. It's a day she's waited for much too long.
"My sons just told me we'll get it back," Adams says. "I didn't know how we would."
Channel 3 first met the longtime Ringgold resident four days after an EF-4 tornado leveled her home.
"I was sick," Adams told Channel 3 in May. "I waited all this time to get a house and this is what I got."
It took the single mom 27 years to save $30,000. Her sons used the money to build her the house she'd always wanted. They were almost done with construction when the tornado leveled it.
Having never built a house before the family made a crucial mistake when they didn't buy construction insurance. Adams was left with no means to rebuild, but it didn't take long for the community to step up.
"When I found out that her life savings were gone it broke my heart," says Ray Elliott.
Elliott and Adams didn't know each other in April, but now they have a family bond.
"God put a burden on my heart that I'll never forget," Elliott says. He decided he'd do whatever it takes to make Adams' dream come true and soon the volunteers and donations came pouring in.
"We completely framed the house, windows and everything for under $4,000," he says.
The Adams family had help from six churches, 10 construction companies and more than 100 volunteers. Monday the house is finally finished.
Adams will use her new kitchen to bake dozens of holiday thank you cakes, but Elliott says the smile on her face is thanks enough.
"It has been a tremendous journey for me," Elliott says. "One I won't forget as long as I live."
- [READ MORE: Ringgold woman loses life savings to Wednesday's storms]
- [READ MORE: Donations help Ringgold tornado victim rebuild]