Vet’s Family Receives Home Improvement Project
The NMU Volunteer Center and NMU constructors teamed up for the second annual veteran’s home improvement project supported by a grant from Wells Fargo. This year’s recipient, selected from seven applicants, was Charles Blake of Brookwood Lane in Marquette. He lives in a mobile home with his wife, Patricia, and son, Charlie.
The family stayed in a hotel last Friday-Sunday while the work was completed. NMU student and staff volunteers restored portions of the floor in the dining room, living room, kitchen and hallway. They removed the old floor coverings, tore out the degraded sections, re-sheeted and installed new bamboo composite flooring.
“There was water damage from before the family replaced their roof,” said Tyler McGuire, secretary of the NMU Constructors. “We didn’t realize how bad the damage was until we started working, so we had to replace more of the floor than we originally thought. The main concern is that you don’t want to take out too much so that it affects the structure, but this turned out okay and there wasn’t a problem. Our organization is based on volunteer service and doing a renovation like this is right up our alley, so we were happy to help.”
Other improvements completed by volunteers included installing new cabinets beneath the kitchen counters, repainting walls and the outdoor wheelchair-accessible ramp, putting a new roof on the shed and raking and other yard work.
“I was overwhelmed by all the work they were able to finish and we appreciate it so much,” said Patricia Blake. “There was a lot that needed to be done, but I’ve been overextended caring for my husband, who’s on oxygen right now, and our son. It’s nice to know the floors are safer and they won’t fall through anymore. I think it’s wonderful that students helped us with this project. We’re more grateful than you can imagine. It’s hard to find the right words to show that.”
Wells Fargo contributed $15,000 to NMU community service activities. Half supported the vet home project; the other half will support Make a Difference Day later this month.