Churches, hotels, non-profits step up for Macon's Crystal Lake residents


    MACON, Ga. -- It's now been three days since Macon's Crystal Lake Apartment residents were forced to evacuate -- and they still can't return home as of Sunday. In turn, churches, non-profits and hotels are stepping up to shelter families.

    Cheryl Gibbs lives at Crystal Lake and says this week has been stressful.

    "Living without power is hard. I can't even begin to describe it. It was very uncomfortable," Gibbs said.

    Saint Luke Baptist Church opened their doors Sunday morning and Gibbs jumped at the chance. The church invited evacuees for lunch Sunday.

    "The feeling of what we've been through the last week, it's a good feeling," she said.

    Senior Pastor Jarvis Adside said when disaster hits home, the church should be there.

    "We certainly just wanted to be who we were supposed to be and that is the church, which is helping those in need," he said.

    And the kind acts didn't stop there.

    Church member Sonja Miller said while she was picking up groceries for the evacuee lunch Saturday, something unexpected happened.

    "I was going up to the door and the greeter at Walmart told me that she didn't want me to pay for the goods," she said. "And that she wanted to pay for those purchases herself."

    Miller said she didn't even know her name, but this act of kindness from a stranger was surprising.

    Hotel organizer Sheknita Davis said it was a group effort to keep a roof over this group's head.

    "As of right now we are going to be covering the rooms, which is about 16 adults and close to 25 children," she said. "We are actually taking care of it through Monday."

    Davis said so far the total bill comes to a little less than $3,000, but everything has been covered thanks to donations.

    She said they will continue accepting funds, so when the residents do get back in their apartments, their food can get replaced after no power.

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