Volunteer groups head to Alaska to help with home projects for those with disabilities

A group of college students is trading in a traditional summer break to do some volunteer work here in Alaska.
Updated: May. 23, 2021 at 7:42 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - A group of college students is trading in a traditional summer break to do some volunteer work here in Alaska.

“It’s one thing to work for yourself, and it’s another thing to work for others,” said Americorps volunteer Donovan Sachs. “This program is a way to work directly for others that I never had before. It’s being able to work on houses directly with people still inside that you know are immediately helping.”

The volunteers are helping Hope Community Resources with some projects at several of the organization’s assisted living homes around Anchorage. A crew of ten Americorps volunteers from all over the country is here for a couple of months helping with projects like house painting, landscaping and fire mitigation.

“We want the folks that we serve and support to be proud of the homes that they live in, to be able to enjoy the homes that they live in, and this certainly will go a long way,” said Mike Wachsmuth, development officer for Hope Community Resources. “They’ll be able to go outside, have little barbecues and enjoy the sun when it’s out. It’s just a quality of life issue. We want to make their quality of life just as good as anybody’s.”

On Thursday, one of the groups worked to rebuild a deck at one of the homes in Anchorage. Leaders with Hope Community Resources say the extra help is much needed and long overdue.

“We’re a non-profit organization, so any type of help or effort from the community or even from the state or federal level that helps with our budgets, to stretch our budgets out, and make use of our money for the individuals is always great,” said Jeffrey Danz, home alliance coordinator for Hope Community Resources. “It’s less effort from me. I can work with the guys more instead of coming out here and doing home repairs, so it’s a bonus.”

The volunteers will be in Alaska through the end of June. By the time they’re finished, they will have worked on over 150 projects at about 50 assisted living homes.

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