RSVP's "Handyman Brigade" helping the elderly, disabled

By Rebecca Powers - bio | email

HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - They are some of the hardest working retired men you'll find.

The "Handyman Brigade" is part of Harrison County's Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP). The group is made up of about a dozen mostly retired carpenters, electricians, and all around handymen who want to give back to a community that has been so good to them.

"These seniors do amazing things for the elderly and disabled at no charge and they do it out of the kindness of their hearts," RSVP Director Mag Holland told WLOX News.

The small volunteer group has finished an astounding 300 work orders for the widowed, elderly or disabled.

Wanda Kalor is one of those who has benefited from the group's generosity.

"Oh, they are heroes, they are my heroes," Kalor said.

Kalor and her husband are both disabled. Their Three Rivers home needed some work that they could have never done or afforded. The Handyman Brigade came to their rescue.

"You know, that is a wonderful, wonderful feeling for people who are not in a position to do it on their own," Kalor said.

Mag Holland remembers when the volunteers came to the aid of a wheelchair bound woman who was seriously injured after falling out of her chairlift.

"Our handyman went over there and made her a gate on the lift. When he got there, he also found out that there were some problems with the lift, so the family called the company back because it was under warranty," Holland said.

And no repair job is too big or too small. They've changed light bulbs and thermostats, fixed ceiling tiles and built handicap ramps. They even moved a wall so a paraplegic could leave his bedroom.

"The man was a Navy veteran," remembered Handyman Brigade member Wade Mayette. "Just a great man to talk with and learn about. That's what I try to do is learn from people, you know. When you talk to them and find out about their life and what they've been through. Just amazing, and just thank God for your health."

The men feel honored to learn from and the know those they are fortunate enough to help.

"Everyone will tell you, and we do too, we get more out of this, than we give," one volunteer said.

They share not only their electrical or carpentry skills, by the end of the work, they have each given a little piece of themselves.

To find out more about the Handyman Brigade, call (228) 896-0412.

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