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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Group set to renovate

Friday, May 4, 2007

Pastor Tom Woodley
CLOVERDALE -- Jim Borer retired in 1996 to take care of his wife Sandy, who had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis only eight years earlier.

But Jim fell while helping out at a building site and crushed his spine.

Doctors told him he might not walk again and he spent five months on his back in a hospital.

Sandy told the doctors she would take care of him, but she was told by the doctors that was improbable.

Since his injury, Jim has defied doctors and now walks with a cane.

However, the family has had problems with upkeep on their home in Cloverdale.

As a result, Rebuilding Together, a local non-profit organization, has stepped in to help the family.

Rebuilding Together has a top priority of looking for homeowners that are dealing with financial problems, on fixed incomes and can not afford to fix homes, or those who are dealing with "catastrophes," according to Grace Lutheran Church Pastor Tom Woodley, who heads the organization.

The Borer home is one of three area homes Rebuilding Together plans to work on Saturday. The organization will also make renovations to the homes of Gloria Bergstrom and Dorothy Burres.

Woodley said the organization's eight-person board did not have problems choosing these homes.

"We really looked at balance of what we can do against the need," Woodley said. "There were other people I would have loved to have helped. We had to turn down seven (families). We didn't have the capability to satisfy the need."

Woodley said he believed the organization would have an estimated 40 volunteers helping with the renovations Saturday, including students from DePauw University.

He said the group has made plans to construct a sidewalk to the front door of the Borer home in addition to adding hand rails on a ramp, replacing the bath with a shower and adding a little ramp from the kitchen to the dining room.

For Sandy, who is in a wheelchair, the renovations are a "blessing."

"I thought finally someone had come up with someone that was greatly needed," she said.

Sandy and Jim have known each other since being students in the first grade. They have lived in their current home since 1975.

Jim said his son's girlfriend had read about Rebuilding Together and suggested to the family that they apply for renovations.

Sandy said their son sent in the paperwork for the renovations, which the organization's board accepted.

"Pastor Tom called and I said, 'Oh, OK, let's talk,'" she said.

The Borer's situation worsened in 2006 after Sandy broke her hip in October.

"It's just slowed me down," she said. "This will really help both of us. I'm really looking forward to it."

Bergstrom lives at Stardust Hills in Cloverdale. She has had problems with standing water in the past and was chosen by Rebuilding Together.

The group plans to place gutters on her home Saturday in addition to constructing a trench that will allow water to drain into a ravine behind her home.

"I am so blessed," Bergstrom said. "It's going to help a lot. I just feel so lucky."

Bergstrom said a friend told her of the program and she immediately signed up.

"I just didn't have the money," she said of placing gutters on her home. "It's just a blessing."

Burres lives in Poland. She said she found out about the program after reading about it.

She has lived in her home since 1995. Woodley said Rebuilding Together plans on fixing her roof and adding a handicap ramp to the home.

"I think it's wonderful," Burres said. She added she hasn't been out of her home in five years. "I can sit here and look out the window, but it's not the same.

"I think it's great. There are a lot of people that need some help, there's no doubt about it."

Rebuilding Together generated money from several contributors, including the DePauw University Union Board, The Putnam County Community Foundation, Greencastle Christian Church, Keith Goad Construction, Grace Lutheran Church, First National Bank, L&B Guttering, Jim Smith Realty, Cloverdale Agri-Center, Menard's, Thrivent for Lutherans, Cloverdale Lion's Club, Pizza Niche, Pershing and Co., Inc., Cloverdale Drugs, Carson Motors, Summerfield Healthcare, Chicago's Pizza, Snowy Pines Nursery, Retired Military Lumber, Jeff Rich Auctions, and Dr. Keith Ernst, among other families.

In addition, Woodley said Cloverdale student Jenna Lewis -- in conjunction with CHS Fellowship of Christian Athletes -- managed to raise $300 for the projects. Lewis is also a board member for Rebuilding Together.

Rebuilding Together is a national organization that has 12 chapters in Indiana. The volunteer group typically will work on rebuilding homes on the last Saturday in April. Its main office is located in Washington, D.C. The program began in Midland, Texas, in 1973.

Woodley said he's pleased with the amount of volunteers the organization has, but would like to see more.

"I was very pleased with the community response," he said. "The need down here is tremendous."

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