Toilet in front means help is on the way 07.11.2007

Written by David Green.

Don’t expect to see a toilet in the front yard of John and Kathy Wickham’s home in Morenci. They have insurance for that sort of thing.

The Wickhams paid a $15 premium for Bowl Insurance to make sure it doesn’t happen during the course of a fund-raiser that started Sunday.

Money collected will go toward “Extreme Home Makeover: Our Lady of Mercy Edition.”

For the second year in a row, parish members will take a day to help out a member of the church with home rehabilitation needs.

“We have $425 already,” said Traci Maginn of Fayette, one of the organizers of the event. “We had a donation of $100. The remainder was from fear that the toilet might appear in their yard.”

She’s heard the traveling toilet will  soon be heading to her yard—an oversight on her part from failing to buy insurance.

For $5 the toilet will be removed; for $10 it will be removed and transported to the yard of the parishioner of your choice.

The group is aiming for $1,000 to buy materials for the project, but maybe less will be needed depending on donations.

This year’s makeover, scheduled Aug. 25, will focus on the Fayette residence owned by Brandi McIntosh. The home is in need of a lot of mostly minor repairs that all add up to a lot of work—particularly for a newly single mother who is putting herself through nursing school while raising three small children.

“She’s working so hard and doesn’t have the time for these things,” Traci said, “and it would be too costly to hire someone to do it.”

That’s where the Extreme Home Makeover team takes over. Last year—the first year for the project—a group of volunteers spent about 10 hours fixing up the home of another parishioner.

Traci expects a couple dozen “amateur professionals” to tackle the needs at the McIntosh home, ranging from replacement of a floor joist to finishing drywall and trim to repairing a screen door.

Guided by a statement from Ralph Waldo Emerson—“The task ahead of us is never as great as the power behind us”—Traci hopes that Our Lady of Mercy’s efforts will be copied by others.

“Hopefully it will be a catalyst for others to look around their communities and see what they can do,” she said.

She knows what her group can accomplish and she’s looking forward to the big day—once she gets that toilet out of her yard.

• For more information, contact Traci and Mike Maginn at 419/237-3344; Nete and Jerry VanZile at 419/237-3019; or Pat and Ron Eisel at 419/737-2163.

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