Elderly woman's trailer home gets love from volunteers
By Lance Cpl. Dorian Gardner
| | April 23, 2005
MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT SAN DIEGO, Calif. --
A handful of depot Marines and community volunteers joined up April 23 to tidy up an elderly San Diegan's home as part of Rebuilding San Diego.
The effort, formerly called Christmas in San Diego, is a local chapter of Rebuilding Together America. The national day for this event was April 30, but volunteers decided to start early.
Capt. Bryan R. McClune gathered eight Marine volunteers who helped spruce up Margaret Heinze's trailer home. The woman survives her late husband Kelly Heinze, who served in the Marine Corps for 19 and half years before he was killed in a plane crash. He also served as a drill instructor at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego from 1961 to 1963, according to McClune.
"The Marines were the biggest part in the success of this project," said McClune. "(The Marines) gave up their entire Saturday to come out here and help fix up this lady's house."
The house was not reconstructed but merely given a face-lift, according to McClune. Marines painted, fixed plumbing, cleaned old carpet and installed new carpet.
"We really got into detail with the paint job outside the house," said Cpl. Robert W. Hill, administrative law clerk at the depot. "We spray-painted it with an industrial sprayer first and then went over it in detail a second time."
The volunteers said the overall experience was enjoyable.
"It was nice to work with other people who had the same goals as we did," said Hill. "All of us maintained a smile throughout the day. Margaret was great. She really went out of her way to help others. She took on a lot of responsibility to make sure the small things weren't forgotten."
Rebuilding Together America, a non-profit foundation, has 275,000 volunteers nationwide and helps more than 1,000 homes nationwide. For more information on this organization, visit www.rebuildingtogether.org.