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Homes repaired with love, care

| Sunday, Nov. 23, 2003

Doug Spicuzza, like many people, enjoys sleeping in on Saturdays.

But the Ross resident gave up the extra slumber yesterday, rising at 7 a.m. to join about 50 volunteers racing to remodel a house in Hampton in less than a week.

"Of course, I like to rest on the weekend, but this is more important and is also more fun," he said.

The home was built in 1947 and is in disrepair.

The effort is being coordinated by Hosanna Industries, a nonprofit organization founded out of First Presbyterian Church of Bakerstown in Richland. Since, then, Hosanna Industries' volunteers have built or made major overhauls to about 100 homes.

The Hampton project is a total renovation and upgrade of the home of Teresa Lah, whose family has lived in the Hampton area since the 1920s.

Needed are a new roof, siding and bathrooms, as well as a massive electrical upgrade. Materials are expected to cost about $25,000, money that was raised through contributions.

"It is not being entirely rebuilt. What we will do is pretty close to that," Spicuzza said.

Lah, 53, has suffered a number of recent setbacks, including a crippling aneurysm in 1998 and the death of her mother last year, said her brother, Jack Scott, of Richland.

"Teresa's health has been difficult for several years, and that has made her financial condition even more difficult," Scott said. "She always provided for our mother, and neither of them ever felt they had enough money too keep up the house."

Scott contacted Hosanna Industries.

"They are talented and skilled people who care a lot about other people," he said. "For us, this kind of help is a miracle."

Even though many of the volunteers are skilled tradesman, many are have no particular skills, said Spicuzza, a geologist who has participated in 10 of Hosanna's so-called "blitz builds."

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