The Cricket team from Buffalo, NY recently completed their Rebuilding Together Project in the Seneca Babcock neighborhood. The project that they undertook was a daunting task and culminated two weeks ago as Justin Zirpalo and his father Sal were able to move in to their new home. However, this project was a little different than some of the others you’ve heard about.
Rebuilding Together does not currently have a local chapter in Buffalo, so the Buffalo team took matters in to their own hands by spearheading a project and partnering with AmeriCorps, Hospice Buffalo and the Make-A-Wish Foundation to refurbish a home for Justin Zirpalo, a 13 year old handicapped boy who requires around the clock attention, and his father Sal. Sal had purchased the “fixer upper” a few years ago with the intention of doing the work himself. After purchasing the home, his wife unexpectedly passed away and he did not have the time or resources to complete the work. This is where the Cricket Buffalo team stepped in.
What they had originally thought was going to be a short but difficult “remodeling” job, quickly turned in to a full scale construction project escalating to an estimated 200 volunteer hours over the last three months. Everything in the house had to be re-done including plumbing, electrical, new fixtures, walls finished, doors replaced, exterior landscaping, new porch construction, and adding an exterior door off of Justin’s bedroom to allow him to see the sun. This door meant a lot to Justin, as he hadn’t been able to look out his room and see the sun in 2 years. Everyone on the team participated including family, friends, dealers and contractors that the Buffalo team worked with. This truly was a team effort!
Thanks to the hard work of many, Justin Zirpalo and his father Sal are now able to live in a properly equipped home and Justin is able to see the sun from his new bedroom!
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