While eight new homes are being constructed in Legacy Acres, the new neighborhood adjacent to theirs, the home of Allen and Essie Combs is getting some much-needed repair.
The Combs residence, 461 Walter Lyons Rd., is one of seven rehabilitations project sites in the 3rd Annual Millard Fuller Legacy Build.
Boots Walker and her husband Ramsey have been volunteering for such projects since 1999.
"It's in my blood," said Walker. "In 1999, I wrote down in my journal that from today forward I want to give my life for the well-being of other people and so it has been since that day," she said.
The retired Tyler, Texas couple travel around the world with Habitat for Humanity and Fuller Center working on builds and rehabilitation projects.
Cindy Guendert of Bristol, Connecticut, who has been volunteering for such builds for 12 years, had to pause to gather her thoughts when asked "why."
Through tears, Guendert said, "when I was married I was abused and I got out. I can't help those women directly but this is a way of giving back."
The home of Allen and Essie Combs, which they share with their seven-year-old granddaughter Armiya Robinson, was damaged in a fire approximately four years ago.
Combs said he was able to add a room onto the home after the fire but funds ran out before he could make any extra repairs.
"I went as far as I could with the finances I had," he said. "Our finances wouldn't let us do what they are doing."
When their home is dedicated, as part of the ending ceremony for the weeklong "blitz build," it will have a new wheelchair ramp, renovated bathroom and a new kitchen floor.
"That ramp will really help out a lot with the condition (Essie) is in." Essie Combs is wheelchair bound.
Getting unexpected help is a good feeling Combs said.
"It is really surprising – sometimes you think it's too good to be true – but this is actually happening," he said.
The dedication ceremony will be held today at 3:30 p.m. for the eight new homes of Legacy Acres Subdivision and the seven rehabilitated homes of Tompkins Quarters. Legacy Acres is located at Millard Fuller Drive off Pine Street.