Volunteers helps local families with home repairs
PHILADELPHIA - June 14, 2012 (WPVI) -- It may not be Extreme Makeover Home Edition, but it is pretty close; 1,000 volunteers coming together to help neighbors rebuild their homes and make costly repairs they could not afford.
Drilling, lifting and assembling. It takes a lot of work and a lot of hands to build a playground. But for the children who will soon enjoy it, it is all worth it.
"I think this is absolutely phenomenal. It will be a great anchor for the community, and it will be a wonderful place for children to get outside and to get fit," said Jerome Shabazz.
The work at the Overbrook Environmental Education Center is just one part of a huge project being organized by the non-profit Rebuilding Together.
Around the corner, homes owned by low income families are getting complete renovations.
"I'm just so excited that everyone's here volunteering for us," said Renee Wilson.
Renee Wilson's corner property is getting new landscaping and new stairs. She says to have had to pay for all of this would have been next to impossible.
"Just for my property alone, well over $50,000. This is such a blessing," Renee said.
Across the street, Andrea Spencer is getting her walls painted and a brand new kitchen, and she says it was perfect timing.
"My husband was laid off a little while ago, and I went out and got a job. It's low paying but it helps make ends meet. There is just no way we could have afforded these repairs," said Andrea. "There is just no way."
The project is a massive undertaking; 30 homes, 1,000 volunteers, and it all has to get done in three days.
Helping to make that happen are people like Jawon Williams.
"Instead of staying inside and playing video games, I came out and helped my grandmother," said Jawon.
Organizers say that is what Rebuilding Together is all about.
overbrook, philadelphia, local/state, shirleen allicot
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