A Greenville-based non-profit is working to make life better for local people. Rebuild Upstate raises money and organizes volunteers to do home repairs for people who can’t afford them.
So far this year, they’ve made improvements on more than 100 homes for free.
Marlene Merck has lived in her home since 1976, but over the years, it’s become difficult for her to come and go because of her increasingly limited mobility. She now uses a wheelchair.
“I was able to get around for a good while using a walker or one thing or another you know, and then it started getting worse,” Merck said. “I had to get whoever took me out to bring the wheelchair [to] actually pick it up and take it up the stairs with me in it.”
Rebuild Upstate changed that for her last December when they installed a ramp at no cost to her with contractor Brasfield & Gorrie.
“It’s a beautiful job,” Merck said.
Since she’s had the ramp, it’s brought a lot of positive things into her life. She says it’s easier for her to go out to dinner and get together with her family, rather than leaving only for things like doctors’ appointments.
She is one of hundreds of people Rebuild Upstate has helped, and they do more than just ramps.
“It runs the gamut from building a ramp to allow them to have accessibility in a home, all the way to redoing roofs and sometimes even doing foundation repair,” said Dayle Stewart, who is the assistant director of Rebuild Upstate.
Stewart says most of the people they help are living on fixed income or just don’t have the money to repair their homes.
Merck said she wishes people across the country had access to a group as generous as Rebuild Upstate.
“I made a little contribution to them later, but it wasn’t nearly as much as that would’ve cost,” she said.
You can find more info on how to apply, donate, and volunteer here.