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Dozens volunteer Saturday to repair homes in west Appleton neighborhood

Rebuilding Together Fox Valley is behind the effort part of National Rebuilding Day
Updated: May. 22, 2021 at 4:42 PM CDT
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APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) - Volunteers sacrificed their Saturday to fix several homes for those who don’t have the means or resources to do it themselves.

Dozens gathered at Linwood Park in Appleton at around 7:30 a.m. They were there to modify and repair houses in Appleton’s westside for low-income, disabled, or veteran homeowners.

“We’re focused on health and safety, so we do a lot of mobility accommodations. Getting in and out of the bath safely, making sure that there’s no mold in the home,” Rebuilding Together Fox Valley Operations Manager Shelah Kerschenske said.

Rebuilding Together orchestrated the effort with dedicated volunteers showing up, including Bryant Kazik who’s on his tenth year volunteering.

“You come away feeling good. The people love what their house looks like when they’re done and they’re safe when we leave,” Kazik said.

He was working on a house located at the intersection of N Linwood Ave and W Packard St. Among the modification projects volunteers are doing is adding new flooring and paneling in the basement after finding mold.

“It’s just important to let them feel safe and confident and self-reliant as long as they can, and you don’t need to be an expert,” Kazik said. He keeps returning because he says it’s rewarding work.

A total of 17 homes were under construction and although the improvements may seem minor, organizers said they have a huge impact on residents.

Fox Communities Credit Union sponsored five of the houses. Homeowners needed to apply through the non-profit Rebuilding Together to be considered and their income is weighed before approval.

“The goal is to be done in a day, that’s why we gather so many volunteers to come in and really put in that time,” Kerschenske said.

Rebuilding Together’s mission is to have repaired between 150 to 200 homes in the West Appleton neighborhood during a three year period.

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