Shawnee Dispatch

Spectrum employees, local volunteers spruce up damaged Shawnee home

Volunteers replace rotted wood from a small storage area on the back of a Shawnee house on Saturday morning. The project was a collaboration between the nonprofit organization Rebuilding Together Shawnee and communications company Spectrum. Enlarge photo

October 4, 2017

A large group of hardworking volunteers spent the day making life brighter for a Shawnee homeowner.

Around 30 people donated their time Saturday morning and afternoon providing critical home repairs to a home near Ray Marsh Elementary School. They cleaned out the basement, power washed the sides of the home, gutted and rebuilt the main bathroom, fixed rotting wood in the second bathroom, replaced the range top on the stove and installed new gutters.

The massive project is a partnership between the communications company Spectrum and Rebuilding Together Shawnee.

Most of the volunteers who worked on the home on Saturday are Spectrum employees.

The company’s offices across the nation are teaming with other Rebuilding Together chapters for similar projects, with the goal of improving 25,000 homes by the year 2020.

So far, the company has fixed more than 12,000.

“It’s not just about helping one house, it’s about reaching out to the broader community to help everyone,” said Wes Shirley, the communications manager for Spectrum. “We want to be a good corporate citizen and a good neighbor.”

The partnership between Spectrum and Rebuilding Together Shawnee kicked off last winter when co-president Neal Sawyer received an email telling him the nonprofit organization was being given a $25,000 grant from Charter Communications, Spectrum’s parent company.

“It really seemed too good to be true,” he said. “I didn’t believe it at first because this kind of stuff doesn’t happen to us.”

Rebuilding Together Shawnee has touched 81 properties since it was started in 2007.

Its projects are funded through donations and grants. Volunteers do the work. Sometimes, a local business will donate materials, expertise, or labor.

The organization provides the free home repairs to homeowners who are elderly, disabled or economically disadvantaged.

The homeowner who had her house fixed up on Saturday said battling depression led to her home’s fallen state.

“It’s a miracle to have help,” said Stacey Bray, who has lived in Shawnee for 27 years. “I’m overwhelmed and very grateful. It’s something I’ll never forget.”

She told the Dispatch she plans to volunteer for Rebuilding Together Shawnee next year.

In addition to Bray’s house, the organization has another project planned for Oct. 14.

It is continually looking for financial support and volunteers.

For more information about the organization, visit rebuildingtogethershawnee.com.

Originally published at: http://www.shawneedispatch.com/news/2017/oct/04/spectrum-employees-local-volunteers-spruce-damaged/