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How a Mount Prospect warehouse grew to become a 'Taj Mahal' for volunteer homebuilders

A not too long ago vacant Mount Prospect warehouse is now the hub of an effort to construct 16 properties for needy households in Appalachia, due to the generosity of a neighborhood enterprise, the diligence of volunteer “desk jockeys” and a contented coincidence.

Mount Prospect-based development agency Nicholas & Associates donated the area within the Kensington Enterprise Middle this month to the Chicago-based nonprofit Solid Rock Carpenters.

The group of self-described desk jockeys and weekend warriors has been busy ever since, chopping, marking and bundling lumber for cargo to White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. About 400 volunteers will collect there at The Greenbrier resort on June 5, and over three hours they may assemble inside and exterior partitions for the brand new properties.

In the end, the partitions will depart on tractor trailers and grow to be the idea for brand spanking new single-family properties. Eight will journey to japanese Kentucky, the location of devastating floods in the summertime of 2022, and the opposite eight will head to northeast Tennessee, the place they’ll present housing for households in want.

The hassle is a partnership involving the carpenters, the Appalachia Service Project — a Christian ministry performing volunteer residence restore and alternative in Central Appalachia — and the Home Depot Foundation.

The Mount Prospect warehouse grew to become obtainable by way of a random connection between volunteer Bryan Mercado and Nick Papanicholas Jr., president of Nicholas & Associates. Their kids play hockey collectively on the Nicholas Sportsplex in Mount Prospect, owned by the Papanicholas household.

“I obtained the telephone name (from Strong Rock). ‘Hey, we’d like an area. Discover us an area.’ And I stated, ‘I do know precisely who to name’ and known as Nick,” stated Mercado, a Park Ridge resident.

The timing couldn’t have been higher. Nicholas & Associates had simply acquired the warehouse, which it will definitely plans to share with the woodworking agency Parenti & Raffaelli, Ltd.

For Papanicholas, the volunteer challenge match into his firm’s philosophy.

“Giving again has at all times been a part of our story, and having the ability to present the area and folks energy wanted for this worthy challenge permits us to develop our means to assist in new methods,” he stated.

Based within the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Strong Rock Carpenters helps construct new properties or restore outdated ones in areas recovering from pure disasters or coping with poverty. Its volunteers have constructed 51 properties within the Gulf Area, Missouri, Colorado and Appalachia, in addition to Mexico and Guatemala, in line with its web site.

Volunteers stated they’re thrilled with the Mount Prospect warehouse area, an unlimited improve over earlier work websites.

“We’ve by no means had something like this ever,” stated Park Ridge resident Tom Klimmeck. “We’ve at all times been in depressing spots. Storing lumber exterior. Overlaying it. Getting issues stolen. That is the Taj Mahal for us.”

Tom Klimmeck, left, talks with Megan Johnson in a Mount Prospect warehouse as volunteers put together lumber to construct 16 properties for needy households in Appalachia.
Joe Lewnard/[email protected]
A prototype of the framework of one of many 16 properties that shall be constructed for needy households in Appalachia stands in a Mount Prospect warehouse.
Joe Lewnard/[email protected]
Volunteers and tradespeople put together lumber as a part of an effort to construct 16 properties for needy households in Appalachia. The volunteers from Strong Rock Carpenters are utilizing a not too long ago vacant Mount Prospect warehouse for his or her work.
Joe Lewnard/[email protected]
Volunteers from Strong Rock Carpenters assemble a prototype inside a warehouse in Mount Prospect.
Joe Lewnard/[email protected]

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