New Castle News

TOP STORIES

December 11, 2010

Church volunteers unite for extreme home makeover

NEW CASTLE — Despite personal tragedies and financial hardships, Norm and Kathy Link continued to give.

Always willing to help others, the Links placed church and community above their own needs.

The couple remained consummate volunteers as they quietly faced serious health issues, layoffs and the sudden death of Kathy’s oldest son. Five years ago, they were forced to move from their house into a mobile home that was beyond disrepair.

Yet, no one really knew how dire the situation was — not even those close to them.

The floor is so weak in spots that they must avoid stepping near them for fear of falling through. A non-working furnace forces them to heat their home with space heaters. The dilapidated front door wouldn’t close or latch properly.

As they lived in an unsafe and unhealthy environment, the Links never asked for help.

However, a group of friends from New Creation Free Methodist Church on Arlington Avenue heard about the Links’ situation and decided something had to be done.

Thinking like the popular ABC television series, “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” the group planned to repair the old home. That wasn’t exactly cost-effective, noted Pastor Chuck Jewell.

So the group — with the endorsement and support of the congregation — decided, why not give them a new home?

Project “X-treme Housing Blessing” began.

“We found a half-acre property with an older doublewide-style mobile home already on it,” Jewell explained. “The property owner agreed to drop the price to just $5,000 and an anonymous donor stepped forward to provide that money to the project.”

The work soon began in earnest.

Retired contractor Paul Frazier oversees the physical labor at the site, with assistance by Josh Kinneary. The team jokingly refers Kinneary as Robin to Frazier’s Batman.

“We have installed all new floors, sub floors and base, new windows, a new kitchen, a new bathroom, new plumbing, new skirting, new landscaping, repainted everything,” Frazier said.

Nancy Arnold, who spearheaded and unified the entire project, added, “Basically, we have redone everything.”

She said all the construction has been done by volunteers, and that the team as well as many others have spent every Saturday for months on the site working.

“Three other churches have also given support to the project, as well as many individuals and local businesses, but we still have a lot of money yet to raise,” Jewell said.

To help offset the costs, a benefit concert, organized by Dennis Kauffman, is planned for 6 p.m. Sunday at the Ben Franklin Early Learning Center auditorium. Kauffman said he hopes the concert will generate much-needed funds to complete the home makeover project.

“Our goal is that when the Links move in, there will be no outstanding debt or unpaid bills remaining on this project,” Kauffman said.

That means the group will need to raise about $15,500, plus the cost of furniture.

Volunteer Mandy Knauff noted, “Seeing our community and our church reach out has been a great experience. It has allowed me to reach out as well.”

The team agreed that the work will be worth it when they get to see the look on Norm and Kathy Link’s faces as they enter their new home for the first time.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
TOP STORIES
  • Bobby_Ferrara.jpg Ferrara comes home after life in the ring

    Former New Castle resident Bob Ferrara has spent much of his 77 years inside a boxing ring. A Pittsburgh Golden Gloves champion in 1958, Ferrara — who was known then as Bobby Ferry — continued to find success long after leaving his hometown for the sunny skies of Tucson, Ariz.

    August 1, 2014 2 Photos

  • VerySpecial.jpg Jameson Hoyt Atrium display spotlights artwork of special needs kids and adults

    Artwork from dozens of area students will take center stage Thursday in the Hoyt Atrium of Jameson Hospital. The Very Special Arts exhibit will kick off with an opening reception at 5 p.m., and the works will remain on display in the glass-enclosed walkway through Oct. 4.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • DougDanko.jpg Census shows county population getting older

    Lawrence County’s population continues to get older. However, it is not alone, as Pennsylvania overall is aging.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • backpackproject.jpg Councilman picks up tab to help lunch program

    Participants of a local summer feeding program are eating this week courtesy of New Castle City Councilman Tim Fulkerson. On Friday morning, the truck dispatched from New Castle to pick up about 3,500 pounds of items from the Pittsburgh Food Bank broke down as it arrived at its destination.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • CRESTVIEW.jpg Outreach: Churches plan to host picnic for residents of Crestview Gardens

    Volunteers from several area churches are banding together in hopes of bringing peace to a troubled neighborhood.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • money.jpg Council OKs funds to remove dead trees

    New Castle City Council has approved spending funds from its contingency account to remove some trees at Darlington Park. Marshall Tree Experts of Ellwood City has given an estimate of $12,000 to remove the large elm trees from the Mahoningtown park.

     
     

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • 12.jpg Photo Gallery, Story: Night light

    The balloons may have been on the ground but spirits were soaring.

     

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo 1 Slideshow

  • StateFair.jpg 'State Fair' coming to Playhouse

    The fair is coming to town. No, not the Lawrence County Fair, although that is right around the corner. This is the Iowa State Fair, and it will be live on the stage of the New Castle Playhouse for three weeks, starting Friday night.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • accountant.jpg DeLorenzo’s status with authority unchanged

    Deno DeLorenzo’s status as a contract employee with the New Castle Sanitation Authority remains unchanged. Authority board members met with DeLorenzo last week regarding an investigation by the Lawrence County district attorney’s office involving Shenango Township funds.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Shooting.jpg Detroit area man dies in Ellwood City gunfire

    A triple shooting in an Ellwood City street has claimed the life of a Detroit area man. Gunfire erupted in the middle of Loop Street outside the Walnut Ridge housing project around 10:20 p.m. Sunday, according to state police.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads
Poll

On Wednesday, the House of Representatives voted to authorize Speaker John Boehner to sue President Obama for allegedly overstepping his legal authority with the way he's handled Obamacare. Good call?

Yes. Obama's been overstepping his authority since day one in office. It's time he pay the piper.
No. The allegations are ridiculous and the law suit is a waste of time and tax payer money.
I don't know. I'm not a huge fan of Obama, but the suit seems a little extreme.
     View Results