MIDDLETOWN, Md (WDVM) — 200 volunteers from across the country have traveled to Frederick County, Maryland this week to help repair homes in need of some serious work.
On the corner of Broad and Main Street in Middletown, Kathy Shankle and her husband, Jimmy, have had to witness to the break down of their historic home that dates back to the 1800s.
“When we opened up our eyes to the outside of it- we were stuck, there was nothing else that we could do,” Shankle said.
About 10 years ago, Jimmy lost his job and the couple’s income relied solely on Kathy.
But after fighting off cancer twice and going through a knee replacement, she was no longer able to keep up with the home.
Paint began chipping and the porch roof withered away.
“I fought my way back up and when I did I realized it’s going to take us a long time to even do anything,” Shankle explained.
About 215 student and parent volunteers from around the country have partnered with non-profit Rebuilding Together to rehabilitate 22 homes throughout the county- with no expense to the homeowners.
“I’m from Hartford, Wisconsin, right nearby Milwaukee, so it was about a 15-hour drive for us. Having this much of an impact on someone rather than just getting paid to do something, actually seeing a difference in someone’s life, that was the biggest changer for me,” explained volunteer with WorkCamp, Philip Hoeschele.
“We focus on low-income houses especially for the elderly, disabled and veterans, people who really need help to remain in their home and safe in their home,” explained Mark Sullivan with Rebuilding Together Frederick County.
Volunteers are getting to work repainting the entire house, stabilizing the porch roof and replacing the porch foundation.
After that, Kathy says she’ll have a better handle on the home moving forward.
“At that point, I can manage it. If my husband can’t, I can do it. I just can get it done and I will take pride,” said Kathy.
Volunteers will work through the end of the week to get the more than 20 homes across the county back into better conditions.