Repair Affair aids 31 homes
Volunteers spent Saturday at 31 Harrison County homes making repairs and building handicap ramps to assist the owners and, in some cases, enabling them to live there longer.
More than 250 people turned out for the fourth annual Repair Affair of Harrison County, which brings community volunteers and corporate sponsors together for the one-day event.
“The numbers don’t really tell you how special Repair Affair is,” said volunteer Richard Mangeot.
He said the “traffic jam” that occurred at Old Capitol United Methodist Church as the repair teams left for their job sites reminded him of “missionaries trying to go out and spread the word” of the Gospel.
The volunteers met at the church in Corydon for breakfast and last- minute instructions before heading to homes in all directions. Some were in Corydon, others were in Central, Crandall, Depauw, Elizabeth, Laconia, Lanesville, Mauckport, New Middletown, New Salisbury, Palmyra and Ramsey.
At one of the Corydon sites, three Corydon Central High School students, all FFA members, helped build a ramp for a woman.
Junior Mathew Chism and sophomores Adam Bickel and Bryan Thomas worked with Tom Hill, Robert Johnson and Brian West. All but Johnson and West were first-time Repair Affair volunteers.
Johnson, who makes a living doing construction work, said he thinks it’s important to help other people. He became involved with Repair Affair because “I wanted to get into something.”
West, who lives near Palmyra, was a co-team leader.
“I like to see people stay in their homes,” he said. “It’s a Christian witness to help people. I’m so blessed (that) I want to help other people.”
West has volunteered for Repair Affair for four or five years, including once in Floyd County.
He said he was very thankful for delightful weather this year. Two years ago he helped paint the outside of a house and replace a roof, hampered by a downpour.
In addition to building the ramp, the team removed a window air-conditioner unit, put a storm window on a second floor window, and fixed a storm door.
West thought his crew would be done by noon. After lunch, which was provided for all team workers, they were going to see if any other sites needed assistance.
Karolyn Mangeot, who helped organize volunteers, said each site received a gift bag prepared by children who attended the Vacation Bible School sponsored by the Corydon Christian, Presbyterian, United Methodist and Catholic churches.
Besides constructing ramps for elderly homeowners, two crews built ramps that will be used by disabled children.
St. Mary’s Church in Lanesville participated for the first year, Karolyn Mangeot said, and another team joined the event after reading about a memorial team.
John and Lori Spurlock, their son and friends of Central read about the Joe Biddle memorial team and decided to get a team together, Mangeot said.
Very active ladybugs made the day interesting for many of the volunteers, who reported bug bites and having to remove the ladybugs from their clothes.
The fifth annual Repair Affair of Harrison County is expected to take place the third Saturday in October of 2002.