• August 1, 2014

Disabled veteran ‘blessed’ by updates to home through city’s Make a Difference Day

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Posted: Thursday, October 24, 2013 4:30 am | Updated: 9:26 am, Thu Oct 24, 2013.

About two years ago, disabled Army veteran Ronald Hill sat down for dinner at a local restaurant where a waitress gave him a number for a woman who would change his life.

“That was the best number I’ve ever gotten,” Hill said. “She led us to Colleen (McGrath).”

Hill served in the Army for 17 years and was preparing to deploy for Desert Storm in 1990 when he was run over by an Army tank during maneuvers, leaving him a paraplegic.

The number Hill was given was Colleen McGrath’s, who works with Bring Everyone in the Zone, a nonprofit volunteer organization of trained professional facilitators.

McGrath helped Hill secure a new refrigerator through Habitat for Humanity about a year ago and recently a rehabilitation grant from The Home Depot to repair the house’s windows and siding. The Home Depot also donated roofing supplies, and Parsons Roofing donated labor to install the new roof; all part of the city's Make a Difference Day.

“It’s a blessing that this is finally happening,” Hill said. “We had trash cans catching water from the roof leaking.”

Crews began tearing off and replacing Hill’s roof Wednesday morning.

“Our veterans did so much for us,” said Ennis Degrate, safety director at Parsons Roofing. “They put their lives on the line for us to have the freedoms that we have. We live in the greatest country on earth, and it’s well worth it to us to support the people who put their lives on the line for us.”

McGrath said in the next phase of the project, 30 volunteers with The Home Depot will replace siding and windows around the house, and Bring Everyone in the Zone will supply 15 volunteers to paint the house and remove debris.

Make a Difference Day

Killeen Volunteers Inc. is still seeking individuals and groups to volunteer for the annual Make a Difference Day, slated for Saturday.

“Make a Difference Day is a national day of celebration where people go out and try to make a difference in the community with a day of community service,” said Colen Wilson, the organization’s president. “The goal is to make a difference in other people’s lives and do something for someone that needs help or that can’t do it themselves.”

According to the city’s website, there are 128 registered projects from 40 local agencies; 78 projects have been adopted thus far. There were 4,721 volunteers registered as of Wednesday.

Wilson said individuals or groups wishing to participate can go to the Killeen Volunteers Center, 2201 E. Veterans Memorial Blvd., to choose a project from the list, or view projects and sign up online at http://www.killeentexas.gov/volunteer.

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