Students trade school work for house work on Veterans Day

Students trade school work for house work on Veterans Day
Muscogee and Harris County students celebrated Veterans Day a little different, spending their usual homeroom time checking in to renovate the home of a vet's family.

"My dad is in the military and so it makes me feel really happy that I can have someone who's always there to help my country -- to help our country," said Ellie Colburn, a volunteer from St. Luke School

Ellie Colburn, 9, says her dad's service motivated her to participate in the Day of Service. Ellie's mom saw a post about the event on Facebook and asked if her and her brother were interested.

"And I was like yay," 

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Ellie added

. "So, I was really excited that we could go volunteer."

Ellie, her mom and brother are just three of dozens volunteering at the House of Heroes and NeighborWorks Columbus volunteer effort. The groups are renovating this historic home in Bibb City for the 83-year-old surviving widow of a Navy veteran.

"She's lived in this house for 50 years," explained Kathy Williams with NeighborWorks Columbus. "Her husband was a Navy veteran and then he went into the Reserves. At the time he was in the Reserves, he worked at the Bibb Mill for 50 years."

Volunteers basically rebuilt the house from the inside out by restoring walls, floors and even paint. It is the 7th building project of its kind, by NeighborWorks Columbus, but the first renovation by the group in its five year run.

"It's a program that warms your soul," 

Williams added. "

It feeds the soul."

The volunteers from Columbus High School, Harris County High School and St.Luke School all agree that volunteering for a veteran on Veteran's Day is their way of saying thanks.

"It's the least thing that we can do to try and repay them that we help them with their house and anything that they need," said 

Columbus High School student J.C. Quigley.

"Thank you for all your service, Dad," Ellie added. 

The keys to that home will be presented to its owner in a special ceremony on November 18. 

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