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WJHG: ReNew Northwest Florida helps residents in Bay County

BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG) - ReNew Northwest Florida, a non-profit based out of Freeport in Walton County, was founded in 2017 after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico. For this week's Everyday Heroes, we talked with the founder to find out how the group has been helping out a little closer to home.

"We knew the time would come when we'd be working closer to home, and didn't realize we would be working this close to home," Founder of ReNew Northwest Florida Ronnie McBrayer said.

Immediately after Hurricane Michael made landfall, volunteers with ReNew Northwest Florida made their way to Bay County to assess the damage and see where help was needed.

"We got started right away and have been working here ever since," McBrayer said.

The nonprofit was formed to help people impacted by storms with three goals in mind: to mobilize individuals, churches and groups to respond to disasters, to localize aid helping individuals and families, and to stabilize the lives impacted by storms.

"A golden rule thing, do unto others as you would have done unto you. We live in a hurricane-prone area and a day will come where Walton County, Okaloosa County, anywhere along the Emerald Coast where neighbors are going to have to help neighbors," McBrayer said.

The nonprofit has completed upwards of 100 projects in Bay County, varying from cleaning up debris to helping churches and completing roof projects.

"There is still more work to be done than has been done. I would want folks from all over this viewing area and beyond to not forget Bay County," McBrayer said.

ReNew committed to helping Hurricane Michael victims for a year, but the group has decided to extend that through 2019 with the goal of fixing about 15 more roofs.

ReNew Northwest Florida relies on donations and volunteers.

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