2012-05-22 / Front Page

Poland Veteran’s Modular Home Receives Accessibility Upgrades

Upgrades Both Inside, Outside Give Veteran Added Independence
by Michael Stanley
Staff Writer

Approximately 75 volunteers from Rebuilding Together Owen Putnam and Sears’ “Heroes at Home” program recently completed a home improvement project for the family of Joe and Holly Henline of Poland.

The local chapter of Rebuilding Together completed construction and installation of handicap accessible ramps, new front and rear decking, along with a new roof and rehabilitation work on a bathroom for the family of four.

“Getting (Joe) in and out of the house is so much easier with the ramp, he’s not tripping up the steps or falling,” Holly explained. “The ability to now give himself a bath or shower because of the handrails has been major and it makes him feel a little more independent, because he’s not afraid to shower by himself. That makes a big difference.”

Joe served as a U.S. Army Ranger throughout the 1970s and was discharged in October of 1979.

“They were all things we would not have been able to do; they even planted flowers and were so friendly and kind... it was a wonderful experience,” Holly said. “I will be forever grateful for the independence they gave back to him.”

The Henlines have two children, 15-year-old son, Mason, and 14-year-old daughter, Mahaley.

“A new handicap accessible ramp was built on both the front and the back of the home, a new roof was installed, and the shower was redone to be handicap accessible,” Rebuilding Together spokesperson Todd Lewis said. “The majority of funds for the project were provided by Sears, through their ‘Heroes at Home’ campaign. Help was also provided locally by Cloverdale Building Supplies, Baker’s Septic Service, Retired Military Nursery, Chicago’s Pizza, Greencastle Christian Church, Big Walnut Baptist Church, Sherwood Christian Church, and by over thirty volunteers who gave up their time and used their talents.”

Rebuilding Together focuses on helping the elderly, the disabled, and families with children who are restricted by low-income and need help to make necessary repairs and maintenance to their own homes. RTOP provides these services at no cost to the homeowners and relies on the generosity of businesses, churches, and individuals to make these projects possible.

“‘Thank you’ just doesn’t seem like enough, they just did so much for us. They made things so much easier and nicer for us, it’s hard to say ‘thank you’ and make them understand how much it was appreciated, it just made a world of difference for us,” Joe said. “They not only did the work, but all of the personal little touches they made so I don’t snag on anything. On the end of the deck, they put a little concrete pad and we wrote on it and three of the guys who worked here stuck their hands in it. We’re going to try to seal it so everybody will know when they come up that Rebuilding Together did it for us. I can walk the whole deck. I’m kind of slow, but I don’t have to worry about tripping because of the rails.”

If you are interested in becoming involved in the local organization, or if you are a homeowner who might qualify for help, visit the Rebuilding Together Owen Putnam website at: www.rtop.info.

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