A World War II veteran and longtime cameraman got a brand new roof put on his house for free even when he didn't ask for it.
Alexander Sawchyn recently had his homeowners insurance canceled, but he got a boost from a small army of strangers.
“I said oh, ‘it's snowing they won't be around,’” 89-year-old Sawchyn said. “By 9 a.m., they had half the roof off."
It didn't matter that it was 23 degrees with snow falling on Thursday for a group of volunteers in Redding.
Mark Edwards and his team said they volunteered their time to build a new roof after Sawchyn's homeowner's insurance was canceled because of a litany of problems.
Sawchyn had tried to begin fixing the issues himself and painted the house in November.
“I fell down off the ladder and broke my shoulder,” Sawchyn said.
His friends finished that job, but it took a hand from State Sen. Mike Mclachlan to get the Purple Heart Homes organization and local builders on board. A historian and photographer, Sawchyn said he felt compelled to dust off his old camera and film them doing the work.
While he didn't ask for it, Sawchyn said if they didn't do this work he and his wife would probably have to move into some senior living facility.
“I can't repay them, no way,” said Sawchyn crying. “They are a nice bunch you know."
“They fight for our country and what does anyone do for them when they come home? Nothing,” Edwards said.
The work that Edwards and his team did Thursday meant everything for the veteran and his wife, who've lived at the home for 60 years.
“You hear about don't leave a guy behind, they're not leaving me behind you know,” Sawchyn said.
The roof was finished on Thursday, though Purple Heart Homes volunteers said they will help with a few other projects for Sawchyn.
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