Mary Sentino has returned home with a little help from her friends

Her “friends” are Operation Helping Hands, Mennonite Disaster Services, and Motiva Enterprises. Her house at 319 Warrington Drive in Gentilly is just about finished and she’s very excited. “I’m totally happy and I’ve told people I may just sit outside on the porch and enjoy my ‘new’ house,” she said.

The house has been a joint project of all three of Mary’s friends. Operation Helping Hands oversaw the work and did the gutting and mold remediation. Mennonite Disaster Services did a lot of the interior work, and Motiva provided a grant to the program and along with employees who worked on the home.

This is one of many joint houses that OHH and the Mennonites have worked on together according to Paul Cook, OHH senior project manager. “We work very well together and the Mennonites do a great job. They are very experienced builders and we’re happy that we have this partnership.”

Kirk Menard was the lead person for Motiva in the funding and Mike Keegan did a lot of work on the house. “This started off as a casual discussion of how we could do something more for the community following the storm,” Kirk said. “We decided to assist Operation Helping Hands, along with a charter school group, the Downtown Development District, and the St. Bernard Project.” Motiva’s generous grant to Catholic Charities’ Operation Helping Hands was $25,000.

Mary’s 26-year-old house is brand new now—a far cry from the jumbled mess that it was right after the storm. “It’s so amazing to see rooms that look like rooms,” she said. “For people to care about someone they don’t know and to give of themselves is just wonderful.”

Mary is thankful for her friends and to be back home.

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