Posted: Sep 29, 2013 4:18 PM by Keele Smith - KBZK News
Updated: Sep 29, 2013 4:43 PM
More than 200 volunteers spent their Saturday helping homeowners in need across the Gallatin Valley.
The group of volunteers is part of the Bozeman Sunrise Rotary Club's annual Fix-Up Festival.
The help low income homeowners do minor repairs on their homes, which can big a big difference.
John VanDenburgh is a fourth grader who has cerebral palsy. He has been in a wheelchair his entire life. Thanks to the Fix-Up festival though, his life just got better.
"Before they did this, I had no way to my backyard," John said, about a new ramp in his home. After the ramp is finished, he will be able to get outside all by himself.
John's mother Amy VanDenburgh said, "As a mom, it's a wonderful feeling to know that your son can do something on his own when there are limitations being in a wheelchair."
Co-Chair of the Fix Up Festival, Todd Eliason said, "It just kind of chokes you up a little bit that you can help these people experience some things that they haven't been able to do."
In the VanDenburghs' case, it's John being able to get into the back yard.
"I'm really excited to do it on my own," John said.
One of the volunteers says it is all about neighbors helping neighbors.
Sunrise Rotary Member Kathryn Haas said, "It's an easy way to give back. It didn't cost me anything but time, it's great."
And the time these volunteers have spent doing this, is making a world of a difference for John.
"That's what today means, is independence for my son," Amy VanDenburgh said.
Volunteers repaired 12 homes in total, making them safer, more accessible and more energy efficient with no cost to homeowners.