Cancer survivor one of four to receive free home repairs

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Four homes in need of repair got the tender, loving care that they needed when volunteers from Home Works of America came together on Saturday to provide free home repairs to four homes in the Midlands.

Home Works is a non-profit organization that has been providing the service for nearly 20 years and they were joined by volunteers from Riverland Hills Baptist Church, Chapin Methodist Church, and students from Chapin High Beta club and USC to help.

Jean Mack, who has lived in her home for 25 years, was one such homeowner recipient of the generosity.

Mack is a two-time cancer survivor and just recently celebrated her 82nd birthday.

With years of memories, Mack said she was grateful for all the help since she cannot afford to fix her house on her own.

According to their website, a typical homeowner assisted by Home Works of America is a 70-year-old widow, annually living on $12,000.

"Being able to see the face of that homeowner that they've touched," Joe Huggins, the executive director of Home Works said. "That they've come into the life of someone they didn't know and have brought a ray of sunshine, a ray of love and some joy and the connection. That's what life is all about and that's what we at Home Works feels like is the most important thing, is connecting a student and a young person with someone in their city, or their town in their own backyard that they didn't know before and making that connection and that's what builds communities."

"Working out here, having fun and doing good things helping out painting making a deck," Nathan Cooley, one of the volunteers, said. "Chopping down stuff that needs to get done, making  the yard look better for someone who can't do it themselves."

Home Works oversees various repair projects, ranging from the replacement of roofs to the construction of ramps, the gutting of bathrooms, the repairing of ceilings and the painting of walls. The organization works to create a context in which youth are mentored in life-skills.

"It's hard work out here but you do feel good you feel like you've made an impact and it feels good," Benjamin Dunn, who also volunteered, said.

Nearly $1,500 dollars was donated to repair Jean Mack's house.

If you'd like to donate, you can do so online, or by mailing in a check.

The next workday is in Lake City next weekend, followed by a Myrtle Beach work day the following Saturday.

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