34 homes of needy repaired

May 02, 1994|By Kevin Harrison | Kevin Harrison,Contributing Writer

Thirty-four homes are cleaner, safer and more comfortable today because neighbor helped neighbor in Anne Arundel County.

About 1,200 volunteers took part in Christmas in April, a national program that provides house repair and renovation for low-income, elderly and disabled homeowners.

"I've always been a cynical type of person -- but this has changed all that," said Douglas Endzell of Forest Street in Glen Burnie, whose home was selected for major remodeling and renovation.

Mr. Endzell, 30, has multiple sclerosis and uses a wheelchair. His wife Barbara, 33, is recovering from a mastectomy and chemotherapy treatments. One of their three sons, Marcus, 8, has cerebral palsy and also uses a wheelchair.

The local chapter of the Multiple Sclerosis Society in Millersville told the Endzells about Christmas in April, and the housing organization sent inspectors to determine the scope of the project and the supplies that would be needed.

Carl Scheffel Jr., a civil engineer and secretary and executive treasurer of Visions for America, a nonprofit housing and shelter advocate program, looked over the Endzells' house and realized the family needed more than the handicapped-accessible bathroom it had requested.

Saturday, more than 50 volunteers gathered at the Endzell residence in the early morning and within 15 minutes started work.

While Dan Johnson and Rocky Pinkert, Seabees from Construction Battalion Unit 403 at the Naval Air Station in Annapolis, worked on the bathroom, more than 30 people from the Toyota Distribution Center on Ordinance Road painted the inside and outside of the house.

Eleven National Honor Society students from North County High School cut grass, raked and helped till and plant a garden.

Mr. Scheffel and his father, Carl Scheffel Sr., also a civil engineer, poured and spread concrete for a new sidewalk that leads to the wheelchair ramp in the back of the home.

Because of the volume and complexity of the tasks, several volunteers worked at the Endzell home earlier in the week.

"At first, we were just looking to have the bath done, now they've come here today and did all this. It's unbelievable. I was tickled to have this. It really restored my faith in humanity," Mr. Endzell said.

"Carl has been the greatest. He's done it all from A to Z."

The day was similar at the Oaksprings Drive home of Howard Glaeser, 72, whose back problems prevent him from doing repairs.

Carol Claar, a Sun Valley Improvement Association member and Christmas in April "ambassador," had nominated her neighbor's ranch-style house for roof replacement.

A private man, Mr. Glaeser, 72, was reluctant to have workers inside his home, but gave the more than 40 volunteers free rein outside.

North County Honor Society students worked with volunteers from the Bank of Glen Burnie and Sun Valley Improvement Association to paint a metal-wire fence, haul trash and rubbish, do yardwork and replace the roof and rain gutters.

Corporate sponsors are required to contribute $1,500. Toyota Distributors sponsored the Endzell residence, and the Bank of Glen Burnie sponsored the Glaeser house. Both companies also supplied volunteers.

At the Glaeser home, volunteers started at 6:30 a.m. and returned to work after a brief lunch break.

Jeanette Thompson, a teaching assistant at North County High School, considered the experience worthwhile.

"It's been a long day, a long, good day." she said.

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