Josh Carden’s house nearing completion

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

Volunteers working to build a new house for Thompson High School graduate Josh Carden have raised nearly $4,500 in the past several weeks, and are getting closer to finishing the new home.

The Josh Carden Project began working to build a new house for Carden after his grandfather was struck by a car and killed while he was crossing Fulton Springs Road to help Carden cross the street.

The outside of the house’s structure is nearly finished, and crews are working to complete the interior, said Josh Carden Project organizer Jeff Brooks.

Over the past several weeks, Josh Carden Project volunteers sold doughnuts to shoppers waiting in front of Best Buy on Black Friday, held a community yard sale to benefit the house fund and began selling $15 Josh Carden Project T-shirts at Brooklere Pharmacy to help with the project.

The Inverness branch of BancorpSouth also donated $900 and housewarming gifts to the group, and Alabaster certified public accountant Vic Smith held a fundraiser at his office off U.S. 31.

Brasfield and Gorrie recently sent volunteers to work on the inside of the house, which is located off Washington Lane, and project volunteers were able to connect with a brick mason during Vic Smith’s fundraiser.

“It’s been a good past few weeks,” Brooks said. “A brick mason was one of our biggest needs, so getting one was huge for us. He actually did the brick work on Meadow View Elementary and Helena Middle School.”

The project’s biggest needs now are donations to fund the house’s driveway and sidewalks, a lift to help Carden move from his bed to his wheelchair and to help pay off the “very small” mortgage Carden and his grandmother owe on their current residence.

“Right now, everything is pretty much taken care of,” Brooks said. “I have been amazed at the community’s giving spirit. This process has been better than any TV show you could see.”

Brooks said because the project is dependent on donations, he was hesitant to put a firm timeline on the house’s completion.

“It will be done in God’s time,” Brooks said. “But I will say that it absolutely will be done by the end of the school year.”

To make a donation to the project, call Brooks at 913-4449, or visit Joshcardenproject.org.