Community Pulls Together To Aid Decorated Vietnam Veteran

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Provided by Project Mend-a-House

Some of the volunteers who worked on Mr F's home

Some of the volunteers who worked on Mr F’s home

Mr. Ernest F (last name omitted for privacy reasons) is a disabled Vietnam veteran who served his country with selflessness and bravery. As an airborne trooper, he earned two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star in combat. Mr. F. was referred to Project Mend-A-House (PMAH) because he was having trouble keeping up his house and there were complaints from neighbors.

Because the scope of the project was much larger than what PMAH usually does, PMAH reached out to the community to assist Mr. F.  A GoFundMe Campaign was started in early 2016 and eventually $8,500 was raised for the project, through GoFundMe and other donations, including $2,500 from Gainesville United Methodist Church and $2,000 from Warrior 360.

To start the project, PMAH and community volunteers came together to help Mr. F take back control of his yard and help with a major cleanup effort. Mr. F was also in need of some major repairs to his home. Among the issues that needed to be addressed were replacement of the roof, gutters and garage door as well as the siding, soffits, and fascia. The chimney and patio door also needed repairs.

Volunteers from several community groups pitched in to provide labor, including PMAH, Warrior 360, Woodbridge Baptist Church, Lutheran Church of the Covenant and Prince William County juveniles doing community service. In addition, several community partners have contributed funding, labor and materials.

Larkin Remodelers, LLC of Fairfax, VA acted as the general contractor and project manager for the project. They also were able to provide many contractors at cost.  PMAH provided oversight and coordinated the project’s many moving pieces. Warrior 360, a veterans non-profit that believes in veterans helping veterans, provided volunteers to build Mr. F a privacy fence. Virginia State Delegate Richard Anderson and Virginia State Senator Jeremy McPike were also instrumental in garnering support for the project.

EnviroSolutions Inc. provided two 30 cubic yard dumpsters for the initial yard clean up and for the demolition of the old roof.  JA Masonry provided mortar and sand, plus labor at a discount. Glen-Gery Brick provided bricks for the chimney repair. ABC Supply donated vinyl siding and accessories.  Tamko Pro donated shingles, plywood sheathing, tar paper and nails. ASA Roofing provided the labor to install the new roof at a deeply discounted price. Kyo Ohk Shin provided the labor for new gutters at a significantly discounted price. Homecraft Remodeling provided major repairs to patio door and repaired areas of wood rot.  Allied Building Materials donated PVC soffit and fascia. Sheets Wholesale, Inc. gave plywood, watershield and caulk. Superior Distribution donated shingle starter strips. NSP Painters repainted three awnings at a considerably discounted fee.

The project has been completed except for the installation of a new garage door, which Home Depot is considering donating.

“With the help of many volunteers and local businesses, PMAH has been able to provide much needed repairs to the home of Mr F. and make the outside of his home more livable. Jennifer Schock-Bolles, PMAH Executive Director, commented, “It is heartwarming to see how the community has pulled together to assist this true American Hero. We are greatly indebted to our community partners who stepped up to get this project done. It has been a privilege to work with them and truly embodies the Project Mend-A-House philosophy of Neighbors helping Neighbors.”

Project Mend-A-House, a community based 501 (c) 3 organization, has been working to improve the safety and independence of seniors, veterans and people with disabilities of Prince William, Manassas and Manassas Park for over 30 years by offering assistance with home repairs and accessibility modifications, fall prevention and chronic disease self-management. The organization relies heavily on volunteer and community support.


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