BOSTON (CBS) – It’s a top to bottom home rehab for the Dorchester widow of a soldier killed in Iraq. And almost all of it is happening in just one day.
It’s all thanks to the hard work of a large group of volunteers and for the Gold Star family who lives in the house, the renovations will make all the difference.
About 90 volunteers swooped in to do much needed repairs and renovations on the Dorchester home Friday. “We really want people to stay in their homes, and also to sustain neighborhoods especially in Boston,” says Karen Clay from Rebuilding Together Boston.
That organization and the Massachusetts Mortgage Bankers Foundation came together for the project. Most of the volunteers work in the banking world.
“At the end of the day it’s taking us away as mortgage bankers, from what we do in the boring life of mortgage lending, to really touching the life of a homeowner,” says Mounzer Aylouche from the Mortgage Bankers Association.
“It’s a joy in my heart. It means a lot to me,” says Suheil Campbell who lives in the home with her two children. Her husband, Army Corporal Edgardo Zayas was killed in action in Iraq in 2006.
The work includes a memorial honoring his sacrifice. It’s a struggle to keep the house up. The repairs it needs are beyond Suheil’s means. Everything from water damage, to foundation work, door replacement and painting.
“I’m so grateful that I have all these wonderful people helping me out,” she says.
“This type of project, in one day, changes people’s lives,” says Mark Olsen, one of the volunteers.
“When you leave you’re just like, wow, we did all that work. And no matter our skills, we were able to get together and make it all happen,” adds Courtney Lussier, another volunteer.
Thousands of dollars have also been donated to the project so electricians, plumbers and roofers can be hired to do even more repairs.