Youth volunteers repair Hamilton homes

By Tiffany Teasley – bio | email
HAMILTON, OH (FOX19) - Hundreds of youth volunteers from across the country are spending the week in Hamilton, making home repairs for those who need it most.
"The homeowners that we talkED to are just so excited that we have campers both locally and nationally that have opened their hearts to helping them," said Kim Weigel of Support to Encourage Low Income Families, or S.E.L.F.
They're building a wheelchair ramp in James Durbin's backyard.
"I think these guys are great" Durbin said.
He's a veteran who had to have his right leg amputated in 1977 from a staff infection, needless to say the repairs will greatly improve his quality of life.
"I was unable to get my wheelchair up here, anything I have to move into the house here, it was a real burden trying to come up these stairs, so this ramp will help me out a lot," Durbin said.
"He's couldn't even get into his garage to get to his car, but I think this will definitely help him out a lot," said Pam Sisler, a youth volunteer.
S.E.L.F. is hosting the campers from the Group Workcamps Foundation along with local volunteers working on 17 homes in Hamilton -- painting, fencing, and doing porch repairs, organizers say the community help is contagious.

"One house may be an actual work site, but the neighbors will see what's going on in their neighborhood and realize, maybe I could stand to put and extra coat of paint on my porch, or I really should get that door on my garage fixed, so it's almost like chain effect,"Weigel said.

"It's always really great to just go into a community and see how you can serve it," said Brandon Stover, a youth volunteer.

The Red Cross also installed new smoke detectors in the homes; next year they plan on bringing the project to Middletown.

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