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EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE: When temporary turns perfectly permanent


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- It all started with a "WARM" idea from our Extraordinary Person of the Week.

Leon West is retired. He was retired when he helped put the non-profit together.

A local non-profit that helps low-income and elderly rebuild and repair their homes.

A nice 'warm' day is fitting for Leon West.

"The idea was to repair houses," said Leon West.

The idea that blossomed.

"We started talking, and kicking some things around," said West.

That was in 1996.

Leon and his church members set out to rebuild after devastating hurricanes hit the Cape Fear.

That was also when they found their 'mission'.

"There were a lot of rot, houses were leaking, floors needed to be replaced, appliances replaced, all this stuff before the hurricane came in," he said.

A local non-profit was born.

WARM. Wilmington Area Rebuilding Ministry.

"We thought that the first effort we made after the hurricane," said West. "For what would become WARM, the first would be the last, but it started taking off."

Hundreds of homes would find the help of Leon and the volunteers.

Matter of fact, in 2007, he was the Volunteer of the Year in New Hanover County.

Now in 2014...we find a man proud of what was once supposed to be a short lived one and done mission.

"At first," said Leon, "it was confined to the work of the United Methodist Church. That was how it was designed, to get people, especially men in the Methodist Church, into mission work, local mission work"

Mission Accomplished.

This story of an idea that extraordinary.

Know someone who is Extraordinary? Email Daniel at and let him tell their story!

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