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We don't need miracles here, just people with a generous heart

By Brad Page
Posted Monday, November 11, 2013

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Pittsboro, NC - This is my story, but it's also your story. Mark Goodnite is pretty familiar with this situation so any of his comments are welcome.

I've been a carpenter since my 30's. Now retired and living in Pittsboro I volunteer for the Council on Aging - grab bars, safety rails, small repairs, leaky roofs, gutters - whatever needs fixing at home I usually can do for elderly people who can't pay the going rates the tradesmen and contractors are charging these days. No complaint, their kids want to go to college too.

The job I just finished this morning didn't leave me with that nice warm feeling I've often experienced. It was simple; a grab bar for the shower. Also, a few little honey-do items that don't usually come up - leaky roof, broken shower door latch.

The lady was essentially a prisoner of her Lazy Boy recliner in front of a TV. Her husband was watching her constantly and closely. Trouble is, she hadn't had more than a sponge bath for months. Neither of them had the use of the tub or shower because of their disabilities. Yet, he was taking care of her and himself out of a sink. Tonight or tomorrow they'll be able to use that shower simply because the door latches closed and they'll have something to hold onto to get in or out. Material cost: $13.00. The bar was donated to CoA.

I recently repaired facia, trim and gutters for a lady who also needed drip rail because the roofers didn't extend the edge of the roof far enough into the gutters. Water ran behind the gutter and rotted out 40' of facia. By gargantuan effort Brett Moraes - somewhere between Mor-is and Mor-us - pulled the $120 together, I bought the material and went out and fixed things plus a few little honey-do items. Thing is she needs a hot water heater which costs $528 at Lowes plus installation. The old one is leaky. It's an in-house, kitchen console kind of heater which is fortunate because I could show her how to shut it off and turn it on just when she needed it.

With Mark Goodnite kindly supplying an assembled metal well-roof to the dimensions I sent him I was able to help another lady a few years ago. When she turned the water on the lights in the house dimmed and brightened. The well relay had been getting wet for years because of a leaky well-house roof. The result was a huge current drain whenever the pump would run. I couldn't physically do the rest of the work she needed done and I hate that. She's in her 70's (like me) and offered to trade carpentry for house cleaning.

Council on Aging can't help more of these folks for one reason. There's no money for construction materials in their operating budget.

What are we going to do about this? What are you going to do about this? Call Brett Moraes at 919-542-4512. What would happen if you donated 10% of the gross sales from your next yard sale to the Council on Aging, earmarked for the building materials fund? We don't need miracles here, just people with a generous heart and a willingness to put a few bucks where it matters.

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We don't need miracles here, just people with a generous heart

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