Middleburg, Pennsylvania -- February 20, 2008 -- A Valley Forge nonprofit agency used several Snyder County companies to build a modular home that will eventually be sold at a discount to a disabled veteran.
The 26 by 40-foot two-bedroom, one-story ranch house made its way Tuesday morning from Apex Homes, Middleburg, to Luzerne County.
The home will be placed in the Hickory Hills neighborhood of Foster Township.
Richard McDonough, president and chief executive officer of America Responds With Love, said plans are to place a veteran in the home by spring.
America Responds with Love hired Apex Homes to build the home, Mr. McDonough said, and Apex made a contribution to the nonprofit organization for the home.
"The way the veterans serve our country is outstanding, and this is a small way for us to serve them and help them," said Louie Land, Apex sales manager.
The home features wider doors, a bathroom with a roll-in shower, an outside entrance to the master bedroom for fire safety, lower kitchen counters and cabinets, appliances with front-mounted controls and no stairs.
America Responds With Love plans to sell the home at a discounted price -- $99,500 to $120,000 -- to a disabled veteran who has not yet been chosen, Mr. McDonough said. The house normally would sell for about $180,000, he said.
Other local donors to the house were:
Superior Walls by Advanced Concrete, Middleburg, was hired by America Responds With Love to build the foundation walls for the home and also made a charitable contribution to the organization.
Housing Products Inc., Selinsgrove, donated two exterior doors and three sets of window shutters.
Kerrico Corporation, Selinsgrove, donated a bathroom vanity top.
Giving back to the community always has been a priority of Kerrico, general manager Michael Gill said. The company also has made donations to Habitat for Humanity.
"We like to help where we can," he said.
This is the first time America Responds With Love has built a house for a disabled veteran, Mr. McDonough said.
"There are a number of people who need this type of assistance and that their families or their buddies or their friends know of their need but they might be reluctant to come forward, so we think it's best to build the first one," he said.
America Responds With Love, which plans to build such a house in every county across the United States, is looking for a location in the Sunbury or Selinsgrove areas, Mr. McDonough said.
"We're looking for a piece of land, property that is no longer usable or a blighted property," he said. "We would be interested in receiving that if they would like to donate it."
The Luzerne County location is convenient, he said, because it is close to the Wilkes-Barre VA Medical Center.
Plans are under way for a veterans clinic in the Valley.
Northumberland County Commissioner Frank Sawicki, who is leading the project, said plans call for a small community-based outreach clinic that would provide medical services to veterans.
The group is working with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and U.S. Rep. Chris Carney, D-10 of Dimock, Mr. Sawicki said.
America Responds With Love began in 1982 in Wichita, Kansas, as an organization that provided free food and lodging to people in need.
The organization is searching for a veteran, preferably with ties to Luzerne County, who was injured while serving and has been honorably discharged, has a disability
status of 80 percent or greater according to Veterans Affairs' standards and has medically verifiable needs for housing that is handicapped accessible.
In addition, the buyer must be able to obtain a mortgage and make a down payment, as well as pay the closing costs to purchase the house.
The maximum total household income cannot exceed $43,200 for a household of one, $57,600 for a household of two or $67,200 for a household of three or four.
Since 1982, America Responds With Love has helped victims of natural disasters and political refugees and donated flowers, books and educational tools to those in need.