Republicans and Democrats are ReBuilding Hope Together In Taney County, Missouri
On October 24-26, Mountain Country Homes of Hope will host a group of volunteers representing the country’s two primary political parties. Together they will be working to accomplish a feat that currently seems to be eluding the Washington politicos: putting political differences aside to address the needs and concerns of this country’s senior citizens.
ReBuilding Hope, a subsidiary of Branson-based Mountain Country Homes of Hope, was specifically designed to help with maintenance and repairs on homes owned by senior citizens living on a fixed income. This rebuild project will benefit Elizabeth (Lou) Percy, a senior citizen living on a very tight fixed income in Kissee Mills, MO.
The ReBuild was originally planned as a Republican Women’s volunteer project after Sue Lynch, president of the National Federation of Republican Women, learned of the project back in May during the Missouri State Federation of Republican Women conference in Kansas City. Lynch saw an opportunity for Republican women from across the State to come together for a common purpose that was not politically motivated. “Although,” says Lynch, “I did chuckle when informed that the woman for whom we’ll be making the repairs rooted for the other side in the last election. But,” Lynch continues, “that makes this project and others like it all the more viable.”
Both Lynch and Kathy Chinn, the incumbent Missouri FRW president, have committed to participate in the rebuild, and will be arriving on Monday, October 24 to participate in the kick-off dinner hosted by event sponsor Golden Corral Family Restaurant.
When word got out about the rebuild, Republican women from across Missouri asked to be included in the event. Initially titled, Republican Women ReBuilding Hope in Taney County, the “women” had to be deleted when Republican men began calling to volunteer their time, as well as their power tools and muscle power. As word of the rebuild spread across the county, Democrats, Independents and members of the Tea Party began calling to offer their help as well.
“I cannot say no to anyone who has the heart to volunteer,” says Susan Martin, Homes of Hope Executive Director. “When I conceived ‘Republican Women ReBuilding Hope’, I had no idea that it would receive this much support from the citizens of Taney County.” Martin continues. “After the first 20 or so calls, I stopped asking volunteers if they were Republican or Democrat. At that point my only questions were, ‘do you have power tools, and do you know how to use them?’ Taney County is predominately Republican in its politics, but first and foremost we are neighbors who care for each other. Lou Percy has been a beloved member of our community for many years. Folks are focusing on a single goal, and that is to help improve her quality of life.”
Percy applied for help from ReBuilding Hope earlier this year requesting new insulation and new windows for her home. Percy, whose home is less than 1,000 square feet, was paying an average of $500 a month for her heating bills; an amount she could little afford. Using a combination of grant money from the Taney County Senior Board and fundraising proceeds, the project, when completed, will provide Percy with new vinyl windows, insulation in her walls and ceiling and new vinyl siding. If additional funds are available, the Homes of Hope staff would also like to make repairs to her bathroom walls which are currently patched with cardboard.
According to West Taney County Commissioner, Jim Strafuss, who will be participating in the three-day event, “Mountain Country Homes of Hope has been providing working, low-income families in Taney and Stone Counties with decent and affordable homes for almost 25 years. As our population ages, the need to assist seniors in our community with repairs and maintenance on their homes to ensure their continued independent living and quality-of-life is a paramount concern. The ReBuilding Hope program is the only one in the area that addresses this need, and I am proud to be a part of this project.”
The event is co-sponsored by the Taney County Federation of Republican Women.
For more information about this project or program contact Susan Martin at 417-335-2015.
Mountain Country Homes of Hope Executive Director Susan Martin was a recent guest on The Vacation Channel’s Neighbors Helping Neighbors program hosted by Stan Bess to discuss our ReBuilding Hope project.