Rebuilding Together on their Spring Break

By Crystal Price - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Calcasieu Parish is hosting an Alternative Spring Break group that is reconstructing houses throughout the parish this week.

The group of volunteers traveled from the University of Akron in Ohio to do structural repairs, painting, and energy efficient repairs to 5 different houses in the parish.

One of those houses belongs to a war veteran, Herman Clavier, from Sulphur.

"I moved here in 1981 or 1982," said Clavier. "This is where I raised my family and the kids."

Clavier was forced out of his home four years ago when Hurricane Rita hit.

The hurricane brought in water damage rotting the walls, ruining the paint, and leaving the house with no plumbing.

But this week students from the University of Akron in Ohio traveled 23 hours by bus to begin restructuring the home.

"What we did was knock out the wall and kind of just rebuild and frame the whole outer exterior," said Mike Leonette, a student from the University of Akron.

Students from Akron are glad to learn more about rebuilding homes and helping those in need.

"It's a great learning experience," said Leonette. "It's great being able to help someone in need. Anything we can do to help to contribute makes you feel great."

"It changes your thoughts," said Melinda Carpitti, student from the University of Akron. "To see someone who is trying to live like this after the hurricane, it is just a life experience."

Clavier said he is forever thankful for the hard work his new Ohio friends have put into his 30 year old home.

"It means a great deal to me," said Clavier. "They're doing great work. It's really nice for them to come and give their time and effort to help somebody."

If you are in need of assistance in repairing your home, "Rebuilding Together" in Calcasieu Parish is there to serve those who are elderly, disabled, and with low income.

To find out if you're eligible for the program, feel free to call their office at 478-1755 or click on the "Rebuilding Together" to the right.

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