Bill Capo / Eyewitness News
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NEW ORLEANS -- Volunteers from a St. Louis, Missouri church are repairing Stephie Phillips' fire damaged Terrytown home.

'We get excited,' Stephanie said. 'My daughter is really excited. She can't wait to paint her room and get back up here and do fun stuff.'

October 2, 1012, an early morning fire heavily damaged the home.

'I just woke up and I couldn't breathe,' Stephanie said then.

Operation Nehemiah organized the repairs. Since Hurricane Katrina, they've painted 1,000 houses and helped rebuild 125 more.

'Obviously without the insurance to rebuild he's struggled in that arena, but we've helped them,' said Operation Nehemiah Founder Fred Franke.

'It's just a great big help, all of these guys finally pulling it together,' said Stephanie.

At the same time Operation Nehemiah filled two trailers with bedding and other supplies for Oklahoma tornado victims, and the first Action Report brought in more donations.

'Now through the offering of about 50 additional people, we have a third tractor trailer load,' Franke said.

But the biggest problem Operation Nehemiah faces right now is getting these supplies to the tornado victims in Moore, Oklahoma.

After the first Action Report, a group of sixth graders here raised $400, but Operation Nehemiah will need a lot more help to ship three tractor trailer loads to Oklahoma.

'$1800 per tractor-trailer rig,' explained Franke. 'We hope that the business community, maybe a business man or woman would step forward and donate for one of the tractor trailer loads, perhaps a church or individuals collectively.'

'They're just an wonderful group of people that go out of their way to help everybody else,' said Stephanie.

To contact Operation Nehemiah, call 782-3337, or visit their website at

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