Shelby County NJROTC unit gives back

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 5, 2008


Cadets from the Shelby County High School NJROTC were looking for a Community Service project that would allow the cadets to serve the community of Columbiana, as well as help them conduct their community service requirement for graduation and earn them the Community Service Ribbon.

The cadets decided to help renovate Nellie McNeal’s house located off of JCT 61 in Columbiana.

The cadets conducted an initial assessment of the property and noticed that extensive work would be needed to renovate the house, so they contacted Beverly Hall in order to help solicit professional carpenter assistance for the renovation project.

Hall was able to muster up some much needed and dedicated volunteers/carpenters from the First Baptist Church of Columbiana, Helena and, together with the NJROTC, the renovation began during December 2007.

McNeal recently lost her husband and is currently raising two teenage granddaughters by herself on a very tight budget. McNeal is also recovering from recent heart surgery.

The house is approximately 85 years old and in need of some serious work.

Most of the renovation came in the form of windows, molding, screens, siding on the exterior of the house, air conditioning, back door, back door stairs/deck, as well as overall exterior caulking and painting.

Some minor interior work was conducted, as well, with some curtains and curtain rods.

Altogether, the project took approximately 34 hours during several Saturdays and weekdays during the holidays to complete and is still ongoing.

According to Cadet Lt. Cmdr. Kinnie Morgan, the unit’s executive officer, the unit still has to apply a second coat of paint to the exterior of the house, as well as finish caulking, priming and painting all the windows before the project mission can be completed.

These volunteers and cadets devoted their time and effort to insure that the McNeal family is taken care of and that they have a better place to call home, said Morgan.

The unit would like to thank all the following for their help and consideration:

First Baptist Church of Columbiana volunteers; Mr. and Mrs. Robert Denny; John Hall; Don Armstrong; Beverly Hall; Claude Peacock; James Lawshe; Mrs. Armstrong; Lee Ann Hall; Randy Rowe; Thomas Talton; Ken White; Jeff Carroll and his son, Spencer, of Helena; cadets Kinnie Morgan, Harley Cox, Brandon Franklin, Olen Croft and Brown Lumber Company in Columbiana