Athens Review, Athens, Texas

June 3, 2013

A partnership from which love grows

Athens Rotary, Labor of Love team up again

Special to the Review
The Athens Review

Athens — Henderson County and the City of Athens in particular are very fortunate to have many civic minded clubs and organizations.  

One outstanding example is the Athens Rotary Club. “The lives of the members of the Athens Rotary are guided by their motto of “Service Above Self” … their spirit of helping in the community and participating as volunteers in many local organizations.” said Ms. Pam Burton, current president and Athens city manager.

Athens Rotary was chartered in February 1927 and it currently has 70 active members. The members are guided by 1) Is it the Truth?   2)  Is it FAIR to all concerned?   3) Will it build GOOD Will and better FRIENDSHIPS? and 4) Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?   

If only we all applied these precepts/principles to our own lives the world would be a much better place. The members meet every Thursday at noon in the Athens Country Club. Its biggest fund raising event is the annual golf tournament held each year in October. This event, plus individual contributions, enables the club to fund seven local non-profit groups.

For more years than anyone can remember the Athens Rotary Club has been a faithful and generous sponsor of the Labor of Love. Recently the Labor of Love’s premier wheelchair ramp builders from St. John’s Lutheran Church/Athens built a ramp for Mr. and Mrs. Wilson.  Sadly several weeks ago Ms. Patricia’s husband Roger passed away unexpectedly from kidney failure. He was only 54 years old.

Ms. Patricia and her husband lived their entire lives in Athens. They were blessed with five children, two boys and three girls ranging in age from 30 to 34 years and 14 wonderful grandchildren. They are a close knit family and enjoy family gatherings for birthdays, holidays and weekends together. Ms. Patricia’s eyes light up when she talks about Michael, the youngest, who is a graduate of Tarrant Junior College with an associates in liberal arts. She has been employed by ETMC for 20 years.

Henderson County can take great pride in having people like the men from St. John’s Lutheran Church/Athens. The team was comprised of Steve Drake, Sam Hennon, Bruce Odom, Lacey Ward, Ron Wood and Ken Jeffcott, Project Manager.    The team from St. John’s Lutheran toiled over a period of two full days to complete the project which consisted of an 8 x 6 foot porch, a 16 foot ramp, an 8 x 4 foot turn around landing and a 20 foot ramp. This project accomplished under the relentless hot Texas sun … no small feat for retired men.

This team works well together under the engineering guidance of Ron Wood and watchful eye of project manager Ken Jeffcott. Thanks to Ron’s great mechanical abilities the ramp conforms to American Disabilities guidelines. They also performed several repairs inside the home e.g., holes in the floor and installed a front door kick plate.     

The Labor of Love is very thankful for their faithfulness over many years and the generous funding supplied by the Athens Rotary. We are a United Way agency of Henderson County and a faith-based volunteer organization with a mission to provide home repairs free of charge to the handicap, indigent elderly, single mothers and grandmothers raising grandchildren across Henderson County, Texas.  

Examples of repair or modification of homes made year round include:  construction of wheelchair ramps, installing grab bars, widening bathroom entrances, repairing leaking faucets and roofs, holes in floors and windows, etc.  We have over 25 years of home repair experience with a focus on health and safety issues.

We take great pride in our 2012 accomplishments. Our all volunteer organization worked hard, long hours in good weather and bad … expending 4,614 hours to complete 173 projects. Included was the construction of 36 wheelchair ramps and the repair or replacement of 30 roofing projects.

Our accomplishments are due to:  a) God has blessed us with the financial means to continue growing through the faithfulness and generosity of our sponsors, and b) willing volunteers. Henderson County is fortunate to have such dedicated and willing people who like the men from St. John’s Lutheran Church who gave up two days of their lives to help the less fortunate within our community.  

We serve the people of Henderson County from Chandler to Trinidad.    If you need assistance, call 903-675-LOVE and ask for an application to be mailed to you … we will take it from there.

If you would like to join our team of volunteers, please call the same number and request a phone call.