MARQUETTE- As part of Northern Michigan University’s Make a Difference Day, a local military veteran’s home is getting a makeover.
The school’s Volunteer Center recently applied for a grant through Wells Fargo to partner with the bank to do work on a local veteran’s house as an extension of the center’s Make a Difference Day project. The grant was for $7,500. After considering a number of applicants for the project, the center chose a 91-year-old World War II veteran to help out, said Volunteer Center Assistant Coordinator Carrie Grishaber.
“We have students, Wells Fargo employees and Volunteer Center employees all working together,” she said. “I like the partnership with Wells Fargo and the veteran community.”
Friday was the second work day on the house. The volunteers are installing a new automatic garage door, repainting the home and garage, landscaping around the house as well as other home repairs. On Friday, the volunteers were working on scraping off old paint.
“This is the first time we’ve done a project like this,” Grishaber said. “We’ve worked with Habitat for Humanity before, but this project is different because we’re in charge and get to decide how the project is done. It’s fun to be in charge of the direction of it.”
NMU freshman Megan Clark, 20, found out about the project through an email sent out by the Volunteer Center. Friday was the first time that Clark has volunteered with the center.
“I was in a service program before college and I really missed serving others, so I decided to come out to help,” she said.
Clark said even though she enjoys the physical part of volunteering, it’s not her favorite part about service work.
“I like talking to the people. I like the physical part of it too, but I like just talking to the owner and getting to know the people’s stories. That’s my favorite part,” Clark said. “It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy knowing I’m helping them.”
Knowing that she’s helping a veteran out with his home is something Clark said she loves about this project specifically.
“I think everybody deserves a good home, especially those who have served our country,” she said. “They are generally nice people, so they deserve to have a nice home.”
Grishaber said the group hopes to have the project complete by Make a Difference Day, which is Oct. 26 this year. The next work day on the house is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 28 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information on, or to help out with this year’s Make a Difference Day, contact the Volunteer Center at 227-2466 or email@example.com.
“It’s a great opportunity to make an impact on the community and its veterans,” Grishaber said.
Adelle Whitefoot can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 243. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org