More than 60 volunteers showed up, rolled up their sleeves and dug in to help a neighbor in need at a recent work day planned by friends on Sept. 1 to help the Witt family of Gibsonburg.
As a recent story in The Press detailed, Scott and Cali Witt are currently experiencing a few “bumps in the road” – financial troubles relating to the aftermath of a 2010 car accident in which Scott was seriously injured and left unable to work, or to tend to repairs around their home.
Friends Mark and Julie Shiffert made persistent offers of help, which the Witts always declined – until because of the state of disrepair, the couple was facing a possible loss of their home insurance. At the end of the day – and in the week or so since, the Witts’ home has been rehabilitated and their spirit has been buoyed by the incredible outpouring of love and support.
|Scott and Cali Witt, of Gibsonburg, were overwhelmed and
grateful for the help they received from family, friends and
even complete strangers in making home repairs.
“We had many people come who we hadn't seen for many years, and many people who we had never met before,” Cali said, adding, “We are so happy to call them all friends.
“Some of the projects ended up being somewhat more extensive than originally planned, but everyone pulled together and worked hard to get the various projects done,” she added. “Some are still in progress, and people are returning to complete the projects.”
The Witts wished to thank and acknowledge those who whose generosity were instrumental in making their “home makeover” happen.
They expressed gratitude to Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church for the donation, and to Pastor David Nevergall and John Heminger, who came to help, along with several other church members. “A special shout out goes to Michael Slates, who spent two 12-plus-hour days here working on the floor in our laundry area, which turned into a much bigger job than originally anticipated, involving tearing out a wall,” Cali said.
Trinity Lutheran Church also helped in the effort. “Dennis Steinbaugh braved being strapped up in the tree as they trimmed some very high branches from over our house, “Cali said. “It was remarkable to watch him and his crew cut huge branches without hitting the roof,” She also credited Fred Dryer for spending two long days working on the floor in the laundry area.
Pastor Fred Garcia from Christ Community Church in Genoa and a crew of helpers donated tiles for the repaired floors, put a new roof on the shed and did general yard/garage cleanup.
The Portage Fire District helped in the effort by donating cupboards. Republic Services donated a 20-yard Dumpster and Atkins Sanitation donated a portable toilet, which came in handy when the household water was shut off in order to complete some of the plumbing projects.
Cali also noted that Dave “Hank” Hanky spent countless hours working on the laundry area and returned to work on the bathroom floor; Kate & Al’s in Gibsonburg donated money and roofing hardware, and employees of The Andersons voted to donate their “Jeans Day Fund” – in the form of a $100 gift card –toward the project.
The Witts also expressed their gratitude to their friends and family who came and worked hard, supplied food and drinks, and provided support, and to Cali’s mom for her ongoing support and for agreeing to administer the benefit fund.
“And most of all, a big thanks to Mark and Julie Shiffert, without whom none of this would have been possible,” Cali said. “They are the most incredible, hard-working people, and we are so fortunate to call them friends.
“Now that they have us started, we are determined to continue the efforts to improve our home,” she said. “The generous donors to our Benefit Fund have made so many things possible we never considered before now. They started us on a positive road and we want to continue on this track.”
Those who would like to help the Witt family may make donations payable to the Scott and Cali Witt Benefit Fund at any Huntington Bank branch.