The steady sound of raindrops pelleting the roof signified the eventual onset of the blooms of spring, and inside Davenport’s 1026 Brown St. on Saturday, the sounds of tools pounding meant an improved home for Saletha Wiggins.
Workers from the Rock Island Arsenal, volunteers and U.S. Army Warrant Officers donated their time, sweat and efforts as part of the Rebuilding Together program, a citywide movement to help homeowners make repairs and aid those at risk of losing their homes because of repair costs.
At 1026 Brown, a cozy ranch in a historic neighborhood, the men spent eight hours on the damp, chilly afternoon repairing broken plumbing, building up woodwork, installing smoke detectors and taking care of various and sundry details.
Wiggins, 50, watched with a smile as she saw the repairs on her home completed by the crew.
“I had heard about the program from a friend, and I really needed help. I was struggling with bills already and didn’t have the money to do the repairs, so I decided to apply, and thankfully, I got accepted,” Wiggins said. “I’m glad there are people like this to help other people.
"There’s no way I could’ve done this myself. And every month all the leaks from the pipes were making the water bill higher and higher. This really helps me and my three daughters out a lot.”
The Rebuilding Together volunteers were out at seven planned project sites Saturday and have several more on the horizon for the late spring and summer, said house captain and U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 3 Shawn Legg.
“We’re nonprofit and regionally located, and our big mission is to do community events to help out people in the area,” Legg said. “We volunteer with groups like Rebuilding Together, Habitat for Humanity, Toys for Tots, the Red Cross and more. It’s all about helping out the local community.”
The local chapter of volunteers is seven years old, but the national organization has been around for more than 20 years, Legg said.
“It’s always great to help out in the community,” added volunteer Alex Blain, Chief Warrant Officer 3 and president of the Warrant Officer Association of the Quad-Cities. “We’re always trying to look beyond ourselves and help other people. It’s also good to show that we at the Arsenal do outreach a lot to help the local community.”
Wiggins, among other recipients, certainly are appreciative of the efforts.
“I don’t know what I would’ve done without them,” Wiggins said. “They’ve been a really big help, and because of them, I’m going to, and my family is going to, be able to keep our house for a long time.”