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Making life better by rebuilding together

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- The widow of a Korean War veteran had her house refurbished by Airmen from the 116th Air Control Wing this past September. 

"The 116th Operations Support Squadron members recently volunteered to work with Rebuilding Together to brighten up the life of Mrs. Mary Forehand," said James Williams 116th OSS quality assurance rep. 

Rebuilding Together is a non-profit, all volunteer, organization that helps elderly and disabled low-income homeowners revitalize their homes. 

"The project gives the homeowner independence by making the home safe, warm and dry," he said. 

Having been mostly fixed up in April, there was little left to do. 

"The community got involved on National Rebuilding Day, but because of time restraints some stuff was left undone," said Tech. Sgt. Shonita Wade, 116th Operations Group training manager. "Our job was to come out and fix the outside of the house." 

Whether remodeling takes a day or several weeks, the idea is for volunteers to stay on a project the entire time. 

"We emphasize working from beginning to end on the houses," said Mr. Williams. 

Thanks to the number of people from the OSS, the painting only took a day.
The group was able to break into three and four man teams to knock the work out in the one day. 

"There were 10 to 15 people involved," Sergeant Wade, the house chief said. "Without them it could have taken several days." 

It didn't take much to get the number of volunteers that came out to help Mrs. Forehand. 

"Mr. Williams emailed me and I sent an email out squadron wide," Sergeant Wade said. "I received seven or eight responses right away." 

With over 500 volunteers this year from various organizations, on and off base, Rebuilding Together has been able to fix 63 houses this year. 

"We already have 52 houses scheduled for next year," said Mr. Williams.
The houses are chosen from applications submitted to the City Community Development Department. 

"A person has to be over 62, disabled and a low income home owner to qualify for the program," Mr. Williams said. 

Volunteering for numerous organizations helps Tech. Sgt. Wade get a chance to help people out. 

"I'm always trying to help because it's important to do things like going out and meeting people instead of just coming to work and going home every day," she said. 

Anyone interested in volunteering with Rebuilding Together can contact Mr. Williams to volunteer their time or make donations at (478) 542-3586.