MOORESBURG — Carol Horner had almost given up on hearing back from the Of One Accord ministry about having her kitchen floor repaired by a visiting mission group.

She applied to the ministry’s Operation Good Neighbor program for emergency repairs on her Mooresburg home seven years ago, but had since all but forgotten about it.

In the meantime, an old leak caused the kitchen floor to rot beneath the sink and cabinets to the point that you can literally push your hand through it.

It’s a dangerous situation, considering her 9-month-old granddaughter is getting big enough to start walking.

“A really good surprise”

Horner told the Times-News Tuesday it was “a really good surprise” when she received a call in April from Operation Good Neighbor coordinator Micky Wilcox to tell her she was scheduled to get her floor fixed the week of July 16.

“I was just glad to get the help,” Horner said. “I wasn’t expecting it because it had been so long. I just thought, ‘Well, they must not have been able to do it.’ It was a good surprise. I’m really tickled to get this fixed.”

Horner knows it’s going to be a big disruption to her daily life when the workers arrive in two weeks and basically gut her kitchen. But she’s ready for her floor to be fixed.

She’s a 65-year-old widow living on Social Security, and she wouldn’t be able to afford to have her floor fixed on her own.

It’s been a major worry for her, not knowing if, or when, the floor is going to collapse and take her kitchen cabinets and sink with it.

“I appreciate it, and I thank the Lord for getting it done,” she said. “I thank the Lord for it, and I thank the Lord for them for coming and helping me.”

What is Operation Good Neighbor?

Every year, the Rogersvile-based Of One Accord ministry’s Operation Good Neighbor program hosts mission groups from across the country that come to Hawkins and Hancock counties and perform home repairs and other volunteer services.

Operation Good Neighbor’s primary focus is to “serve the underserved” — with handicapped accessibility construction and emergency home repairs.

Mission teams do a variety of home repairs such as roofs, walls,  siding and decks. Mission teams often have their own licensed electricians, licensed plumbers and experienced contractors; and the ministry has a licensed contractor on staff as well to make sure the repairs meet building code requirements.

The program provides a means for groups, churches and organizations to come and serve Hawkins and Hancock counties. So far they’ve completed 24 projects this year, and there are five more remaining, including Horner’s kitchen floor.

Who is fixing the floor?

The group coming in the week of July 16 is from Summertown (Tenn.) Baptist Church, located south of Nashville.

That mission group has several skilled craftsmen and women and completed a similar project last summer in Surgoinsville.

The volunteers will spend four to five days working at Horner’s house, and aside from replacing the floor, they hope to do some electrical work in the kitchen, install some good used cabinets that were donated to Of One Accord and replace the back door.

Why are donations needed?

Unfortunately, a grant that Of One Accord applied for to complete Horner’s project fell through and Wilcox estimates that as much as $4,000 is needed.

“What our team is going to do is strip all this up, replace the flooring and the cabinets,” Wilcox told the Times News Tuesday. “When the grant we were depending on to do this project fell through, I thought we were going to have to postpone this. But the church took up a love offering. We don’t think we have enough money to do the whole project, but they did get a sizable amount of money, so they know they can repair the floor.”

They’re hoping for the best but planning for the worst when it comes to the floor project.

“We haven’t opened it up yet, and a lot of projects like this we’ll open up and discover it’s not just water damage,” Wilcox said. “Sometimes there’s some termite damage. The bad thing about doing this type of project is you don’t know what to expect until you open it up. We always have to be prepared for the worst case scenario.”

Anyone interested in contributing to the project can call (423) 921-8044 or send a check to Operation Good Neighbor i/c/o Of One Accord Ministry, 306 E. Main St., Rogersville, TN 37857.