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Alachua residents Rose and Wilmon Brown saw their leaky roof replaced by Rebuilding Together North Central Florida.

ALACHUA – Rose Brown turned on her computer Jan. 1 at 11:30 p.m. waiting anxiously for the application to be released. At 11:58 p.m., it was available. She printed it and filled it out with her husband, Wilmon Brown.

Three weeks later, the Browns were contacted so that further information could be collected, but Rebuilding Together North Central Florida (RTNCF) didn’t offer any guarantees.

January had come and gone and February was coming to a close, but not before the Browns had been selected for their home to be improved and repaired.

“I’m really, really excited,” said Rose Brown, 74, as she watched volunteers work on replacing her roof on Sunday, April 21. It was the best birthday present she had received that day.

RTNCF, representing the national organization in North Central Florida, is a home repair organization that targets the housing needs of residents in the community. Originally scheduled for Saturday, April 20, the spring projects for home repairs occurred simultaneously.

“In the month of April we will have 50,000 volunteers nationwide helping 3,000 families,” said Morgan Dall’Acqua, office administrator for RTNCF.

Taking place during the last three weekends of April, typically on Saturdays, RTNCF and volunteers would be tackling 12 projects in the North Central Florida area.

For the Browns, it was a special occasion, and for Wilmon Brown, it was even more so. Sear’s Heroes at Home Program teamed up with RTNCF to improve the lives and homes of the military and their families through home repairs and modifications. Mr. Brown, 87, said he felt good. A World War II Navy veteran, he sat in a chair watching the volunteers repair his home of 58 years.

With the roof having severe leaking problems, rainy days consisted of setting out containers and making sure they didn’t get full.

“He saw the activities going on and the papers and he sat quiet,” said Rose Brown, recalling the additional items required to get approved. “I told him, ‘we’re going to get a roof’ and he was almost speechless.”

“We planned to get it done yesterday, but the rain wasn’t working with us,” said Sara Emmanuel, office manager for Scherer Construction.

Scherer Construction and Crosier & Son Roofing, Inc. have teamed up the last few years to take on the projects in the area and they always handle the roofing projects.

With funds raised and donated to RTNCF, Scherer and Crosier provide the labor at no charge to the families they help.

The first thing that was addressed was safety. The roof needed replacing, the interior ceiling needed repair, the bathrooms and different areas of the home needed better accessibility. Emmanuel said the timeline to get it done was in one day.

“We didn’t know how to get it done,” said Mrs. Brown. “Now, I’ll just enjoy the rain when it rains.”

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