AUSTIN — Tuesday morning, parts of the Pecan Springs Commons veterans housing community and Holly neighborhoods in East Austin were shut down as hundreds of volunteers took over to renovate and repair more than 20 homes of local veterans and Meals on Wheels clients.
More than 600 volunteers represented Meals on Wheels Central Texas, the Home Depot Foundation, and Green Doors with Rebuilding Together Austin, to pull weeds, paint fences, build picnic tables, lay down concrete walkways, install shade structures and more. They began at 8 a.m. and worked through noon on Tuesday to renovate the outside of 24 homes.
"These are significant repairs to the homes of our clients who need help in order for them to stay in their homes in a healthy environment and age and place," said Adam Houser, president & CEO of Meals on Wheels in Central Texas. "We're helping a lot of people, a lot of vulnerable seniors that are home-bound who need repairs done to their home in order for them to live safely in their home and so it feels great to be able to do it."
"This is the nicest thing that I know of that has happened to me personally, and then my family," said Celestino. "This is the first time that I had anything happen for myself, for my, me and my family and I'm glad."
Houser said it was an honor to be able to help give back to local veterans, like Mr. Celestino. Ahead of Tuesday's event, Meals on Wheels had gone to make some renovations to the interior parts of the homes as part of their home repair program.
Tuesday, the helping hands from the extra groups helped to complete the job on the outside.