Members of Abiding Word Church in Sterling, Illinois are doing what they can to give back to a local soldier who was injured in Afghanistan by building him and his family a home in Harmon, Illinois.
Michael Shoemaker was badly injured while serving in Afghanistan two years ago. After plans fell through for Abiding Word Church to build a home in Joplin, Missouri, they reached out to a local veteran's organization to find a veteran they could help. Shoemaker paid for the lot and foundation for the home, but the church is covering the cost of everything else.
Monday, August 11, 2014 the framing on the house was up and crews were working on the roof portion of the house.
"Ya know, I see soldiers and I think, 'Wow! This is somebody who is willing to go and make the ultimate sacrifice for us so that we can be free,'" said Steve Aurand, owner of S & D Construction in Dixon, Illinois and member of Abiding Word Church, who is offering services for free.
"When I found out they were going to build it here in town, then I said, 'I'll bring my whole crew and I'll help you do the rough framing,'" said Aurand.
"I volunteered to do the heating and cooling and the plumbing," said Mitchell McNinch, owner of Heat-Co Mechanical in Sterling, Illinois and member of Abiding Word Church.
McNinch estimates that at least 100 people will have helped with the home by the time it's all said and done.
"He served the country, he helped us out, we'd like to return the favor," he said.
Those working on the home hope to have it completed by Christmas 2014.
The church is still looking for help covering the cost of shingles, insulation, drywall and siding. To donate, contact Abiding Word Church in Sterling at 815-626-1827.