Bridge Builders, Keystone SMILES Partner for Renovation Project on National Day of Service and Remembrance

| September 13, 2018

OIL CITY, Pa. (EYT) – Bridge Builders Community Foundations and Keystone SMILES Americorps joined forces for renovations of an Oil City residence on Tuesday, September 11, National Day of Service and Remembrance.

Americorps members, volunteers, and staff worked together on an Oil City residence owned by Bridge Builders Community Foundations. The home, which is located at 304 East 3rd Street in Oil City, was donated to Bridge Builders by Bette Gharing who passed away in October of 2017.

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Trenton Moulin, Executive Director of Bridge Builders, told exploreVenango.com, “We took it and decided to rehabilitate it for a worthy family that needs a leg up.”

“We’re working with local agencies to identify a family now.”

Moulin approached Keystone SMILES AmeriCorps about collaborating in the renovations. He thought that with their House of Trades/YouthBuild Project, the organization would be the perfect partner agency on this project.

“The renovations are intended to not only improve the house but also to positively impact the street and neighborhood.”

On Tuesday, September 11, AmeriCorps members from surrounding counties joined members who live and serve in Venango County to dig in and help with the renovation project.

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“We got all of the outside work done. It was very overgrown,” Joyce Fosdick, Executive Director of Keystone SMILES, said. “We got all the of the excess greenery taken out so we can redo the landscaping.”

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“We also started demoing the inside so we can redo the downstairs area,” Fosdick added.

According to Fosdick, the skills training program utilizes volunteers from the alternative education program, seeking to teach them skills for around the home and for minor repairs to help them become self-sufficient when they have their own home, while also giving back to the community.

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“We’re also using this as a hands-on training lab for individuals interested in the construction trade,” Fosdick noted.

Though the volunteers spent a large portion of the day on Tuesday working on the house and property, both Fosdick and Moulin noted there is still a great deal of work to be done.

“This is a new venture, it’s still kind of developing,” Fosdick said. “We’ll continue working on it and trying to create a family home, hopefully within six months or so.”

“We hope to have the house done by spring,” Moulin added.

September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance is the culmination of efforts, originally launched in 2002 that promotes community service on 9/11 as an annual and forward-looking tribute to the 9/11 victims, survivors, and those who rose up in service in response to the attacks.

Since September 11, 2001, millions of Americans have come together with a common purpose to honor 9/11 and commemorate the tragedy through volunteer service. Together, they represent a shared belief that by neighbor helping neighbor, we can make our country stronger and better for decades to come.


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