Saturday night Appanoose Community Homes held their annual fundraiser at Plano Christian Church’s Fellowship Hall in Plano.

The fundraiser included food, an auction and music with all proceeds going towards the non-profit organization’s efforts to secure materials to continue to help local residents complete minor repairs to their homes, according to a flier that was distributed to advertise the fundraiser. Last year, Appanoose Community Homes assisted more than 20 families in the area, the flier states.

Appanoose Community Homes secretary and treasurer, Dennis Miller Saturday night, said their goal is to help the elderly, low-income and handicapped who may lack financing to purchase materials or labor they need to improve their property.

“We don’t have very much in the way of finances or materials but we’ll furnish the labor,” Miller said, comparing the group’s volunteers to a free work force. “Any repair work that the elderly can’t afford to have done.”

Appanoose Community Homes has helped to rebuild handicap ramps and replace or fix damaged roofs, windows and doors all for a free-will donation. They have even tackled larger projects, like entire houses, but not so much now.

Miller talked about one instance where a homeowner had some roof damage and the insurance would only cover the cost of new shingles but no labor. That’s where Appanoose Community Homes stepped in to do the labor, he said.

Miller stressed that they are not in competition with local contractors or carpenters. He said if a person can afford a carpenter, then they can hire a carpenter.

Appanoose Community Homes will get referrals from SIEDA, the hospital, churches and by word of mouth, Miller said, and local contractors have been known to donate materials left over from a job.

Rod Joiner, Appanoose Community Homes president, said he sees a lot of need in the area. If only they had the resources, he said.

“We could do bigger and better things if we had more help and greater funds,” Joiner said Saturday night at the fundraiser. “Because there is that much need out there.”

Besides financial assistance to purchase building supplies, Appanoose Community Homes also needs volunteers to do the work.

“We’ve got the know how but the do how is beginning to be the done how,” Miller said about the groups need of new and younger volunteers.

Miller said the number of volunteers fluctuates from 40-50, but they are always ready to welcome in more.

“Anybody that can volunteer to help us work on a house or repair a house or help build a handicap ramp or somebody’s got roof damage or various people’s got various talents” are welcome, Miller said. “And in all honesty, we get more jobs then we can do.”

Think you might have a job suitable for Appanoose Community Homes? Call Joiner at (641) 895-1200 or Miller at (641) 895-5216.

Appanoose Community Homes germinated after Plano Christian Church members went to the Gulf Coast to assist the victims of Hurricane Katrina for many years but then decided they had neighbors that were in need of help right here in Appanoose County, Miller said. Pastor Dave Welsh was instrumental in forming Appanoose Community Homes, he said.

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