Community Builder: Midlands homebuilder put business on hold to help flood victims

Community Builder: Midlands homebuilder put business on hold to help flood victims

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - More than three months since October's historic flood, Dottie LaFitte's condo in Forest Acres is still a shell.

"This used to be a happy home before the great flood," said LaFitte, who showed us around the empty rooms. "This is the entrance for
you…the kitchen was in there."

Her condo backs up to Gills Greek, but on October 4th the creek found its way inside.

"There was five feet of water in the living room," said LaFitte. While LaFitte vividly recalls the mess, she also remembers the help that came rushing in.

Led by her son's business partner & professional homebuilder R.B. Gallup, volunteers were able to strip Dottie's home and salvage what she owned.

"It meant the world to me that these guys came over here, and R.B. led them over here to me because we were really more concerned about people that had young children and families that were totally displaced," added LaFitte.

Gallup led similar efforts at several other homes after the flood.

"It's particularly admirable that he kind of sacrificed his business to help others," said Earl McLeod, the Executive Director of the
Business Industry Association of Central South Carolina. "He had an opportunity to go out and sign some contracts, but he dedicated two weeks in volunteer efforts."

It's the reason why a dozen people joined WIS and Mungo Homes when we surprised Gallup with the news that he's our latest Community Builder.

"I just wanted to say that for all the things you've done for our community since the flood and since with your work with the St. Bernard
Project and Home Works, that you have been nominated and chosen as our Community Builder," said Matt Mungo with Mungo Homes as he handed Gallup his hard hat.

RB very humbly accepted and added the credit goes to all of the volunteers who jumped into help.

"I feel like the Lord calls everyone to do their own part, and for me I'm a homebuilder and that's my specialty," said Gallup. "I have the means and the capability to help people. It was a no-brainer."

Mungo told Gallup he would also receive a $1,000 donation to the charity of his choice from the Michael J. Mungo Foundation.

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