PENDER COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - They say there’s no place like home for the holidays.
The saying rings especially true for those still displaced by recent hurricanes.
WECT first introduced met Greg Wade back in September, one year after Hurricane Florence struck the area.
Wade’s home in the Cross Creek subdivision in Pender County flooded. His family, like so many others, lost everything.
Wade, his wife and three dogs have been living in a camper ever since.
A year after the storm hit, their home repairs were only about 40 percent complete. The insurance company only released half of their money, stating the home had to be 95 percent complete to receive the rest of it.
Even though they won’t be home quite in time for the holidays, Wade says they’re thankful.
“It’s going to be a wonderful Thanksgiving because we’re looking forward to getting in here and living in our house again,” Wade said.
Wade is a disabled veteran, making it difficult to fix his home by himself. Without the insurance money, he could not pay someone else to make the repairs.
After hearing Wade’s story on WECT, a kind stranger reached out, hoping to help.
“My first goal was for him to be in the house by Thanksgiving. I wanted the house finished by then but it’s not going to happen. But they are going to be able to stay here this weekend. It makes me happy,” said Pansy Kline.
Though the two hadn’t met before, they had a lot in common.
“Her father was a veteran. That’s why she wanted to help a veteran. We hit it off right away. She says she thinks we’re twins in some another life,” Wade said.
Once a stranger, Kline is now a dear friend to Wade and his wife, Amy.
“She was in here almost every day motivating me and painting and doing things to help out,” Wade said.
“We kind of motivate each other, I think. So it’s really helped to get it done,” Kline said.
In just nine weeks, they have been able to get the house from 40 percent to 95 percent complete, meaning the insurance money is on the way.
After 14 months, the Wade family will be able to move back home this weekend.
“I’m tearing up here. I’m just happy for him. I’ve had a house that flooded quite a bit so I know where they’ve been. But for me to be able to help... I’m in the right place at the right time," Kline said.
Despite all the frustrations, it is the helping hand of a stranger that has given Thanksgiving a new meaning for Wade.
“We don’t take much for granted anymore. The little things mean a lot more than they used to,” he said.