FARGO — Volunteers with Rebuilding Together of Fargo-Moorhead usually spend their time volunteering, updating and remodeling homes across the F-M metro for families in need.
But on Thursday, Nov. 14, the nonprofit started volunteering time for a larger "family," helping to remodel a portion of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 762 in downtown Fargo. Workers ripped up the carpet, removed the drop ceiling and tore down walls.
Post 762 is getting what might have cost tens of thousands of dollars to complete themselves for free from Rebuilding Together.
The post's commander, Rick Kuhn, said this isn't the first time he has worked with the organization.
"I've helped these people out in the past. I've reshingled houses with these guys and built ramps for veterans, so they're a great organization," Kuhn said.
Kuhn said the renovated basement — as well as handicap accessible bathrooms and front doors — will be great additions, but it's the people he's hoping this project will bring in that he's most grateful for.
"It will really improve our club and make this a premier location for younger veterans and (older) veterans," Kuhn said. 'It's been our biggest struggle to get younger veterans involved."
Volunteers like Trent Freier said it's also the reason he and others were eager to step out of their offices at Sammons Financial Group and onto a ladder.
"It's just a demographic that we'd want to help serve, so that's how we partnered with Rebuild," he said. "It feels great that we can come put some muscle behind that and help out here at the VFW."
Even though he'll likely only be able to help with demolition before another volunteer group takes over, Freier said even one day of helping can make all the difference.
"I'm just very fortunate to work for a company that allows us some time off. It's not vacation time — it's a day out of the office to come help out and do some good work in the community," Freier said.
The project is a culmination of 11 years of community partnerships and donated time and talent that can make projects like the one at the VFW a reality. Rebuilding Together said the VFW will remain open as normal through the renovations.