PREBLE COUNTY — The Senior Home Repair Program of the H.I.T. (Home Is The) Foundation recently celebrated their first annual Volunteer and Donor Appreciation event on Saturday, June 27 at the Preble County Historical Society with the theme “Honoring Our Stars.”
Volunteers and donors were recognized and awarded for their efforts in keeping seniors safe in their homes throughout 2014. Over 770 hours were donated by 98 individuals to the program last year, with volunteers from Henny Penny Corp, DOW Chemical, Timken Steel, Bullen, and Eaton Church of the Brethren heading up the group. Several other volunteers also contributed hours throughout the year with spring and fall cleanups.
Volunteers, clients, and donors who attended enjoyed barbecue from Buckeye Jakes and Hershey’s ice cream from Bratt’s Tasties. Music was provided by the Lawson Reunion Band, and use of the site was generously donated by the Preble County Historical Society.
Special guests including State Representative Jeffery Rezabek, Preble County Commissioner Rodney Creech, and United Way Director Amanda Kopf, also joined the celebration. Shelley Ratliff of the Preble County Council on Aging was the keynote speaker.
The Senior Home Repair Program was initiated in the fall of 2013 and thrives on volunteers’ hours and donations, as well as grants.
Clients must meet age and income guidelines to receive services. Volunteers are encouraged to help with cleanups which involve leaf raking, window cleaning, gutter cleanings, brush removal and painting. Skilled volunteers, such as retired carpenters, plumbers and electricians also give their time individually for home repairs.
From furnaces to water heaters, ramps and roofs, over 100 seniors were assisted by the Senior Home Repair Program from 2013-2014. The program continues with cleanup events and repairs through generous grants, donations and partnerships from organizations such as Reid Memorial Hospital, Care Source, The Smith Family Foundation, Federal Home Loan Bank, Preble County Council on Aging, People Working Cooperatively, Vancrest Health Care Center, and more.
Following are the volunteers recognized for the 2014 year: Youth Group Volunteer of the Year, First Presbyterian Church Youth Group; Special Trades of the Year, Jeff Brown of Arc Electric and Bob Wolfe of Custom Fit Plumbing; Corporate Volunteers of the Year, Henny Penny Corp. and DOW Chemical Co.; Community Organization of the Year, Eaton Church of the Brethren; General Contractor of the Year, Fosters’ Home Improvement; Senior Volunteer of the Year, Joan Hemmelgarn; Individual Volunteer of the Year, Jeff Meyer.
The Senior Home Repair Program is always appreciative of volunteer assistance. If you, your church, organization or business would like to help a senior in need, call Heidi Bortel at 937-472-0500, ext. 408. Donations are tax deductible and 100 percent of donations are used for home repairs and handicapped modifications for qualifying seniors in Preble County.