Senior citizen Cless Vinson, 86, crashed twice through the crumbling floor of his mobile home on Bradyville Pike.
"I can't go through that again," Vinson said, realizing it was dangerous for both he and his wife, Liz.
Vinson, who retired as a hardware manager for Farrer Brothers and hardware and carpentry businesses, knew he couldn't physically do the work. That's when he asked for help from the Senior Citizens Awareness Network sponsored by the Rutherford County Sheriff's Office.
Sheriff Robert Arnold started the SCAN program after deputies told him about the need for a program to check on the safety of senior citizens.
"Our senior citizens are treasures for our community and don't need to be forgotten," Sheriff Arnold said. "SCAN volunteers help match the seniors with community resources to answer their needs."
Besides matching the community resources, SCAN volunteers call and visit the seniors, deliver food and watch out for safety concerns.
SCAN Coordinators E.T. and Clarence Guice knew they had to help the Vinsons.
"I could not live with myself if he had fallen through that floor and hurt himself," E.T. Guice said with concern. "I felt like it was my duty."
The Guices worked with President Wendell Sealy of Global Accord, a ministry-based organization that provides disaster relief and sponsors Nemiah's Neighbor's Project whose volunteers perform work related to habitability, safety and accessibility for needy individuals.
Vinson didn't have the money to pay for the materials to replace his floor so Global Accord set up a GoFundMe account. Donations from SCAN volunteers and individuals, discounts from Lowe's and donations from Farrer Brothers allowed Global Accord to replace the floor and repair the dilapidated kitchen.
Volunteers Doyle Clark, Bill Crick, Zack Preston, Anita Wherry and Rena Lunders started the project Friday, Sept. 4 by moving out the appliances.
"This is a disaster for this family," Clark said. "We try to help people who need help. We enjoy doing what we do."
They removed the appliances, floor, sink and cabinets Friday and began working on replacing the floor. They found another part of the flooring to replace. On Saturday, volunteers started working about 9 a.m. Saturday and finished about 10 p.m. Other volunteers who helped were Bill Lunders, Donnie Smith, Benjamin Jackel and his brother, Brian, Danny Smith, Gary Odom, Chuck Engle, Danny Gambrell, Ken Sheffield, Alana Stanley and the Guices.
Vinson was humbled by the work of the volunteers who replaced the kitchen floor and part of a bedroom floor and installed new cabinets, insulation, a new door that locks and kitchen sink.
"We're living high on the hog," Vinson said with a broad smile.
- Senior Citizens Awareness Network volunteers check on about 60 proud senior citizens throughout Rutherford County.
- Volunteers frequently find proud seniors on fixed incomes who need home repairs but don't have the money or the means to do the repairs.
- SCAN Coordinator E.T. Guice said most of the seniors just live with the safety problems.
- "They have too much pride to ask for help," she said.
SCAN Coordinators Clarence Guice said some needs include:
- One senior citizen, who suffers from numerous health problems, must go outside, down a ramp and to a shed to hook up water for her washing machine located in the shed. The Guices hope to find a solution.
- A woman who doesn't have family and lives alone has a floor near her shower that needs to be replaced.
- "We're not equipped to do repairs like that," Clarence Guice said. "We have to have resources."
People who can help the SCAN members may call SCAN at 615-904-3139. People who want information on Global Accord may check out the Web site at Globalaccordusa.org or call 615-369-9355.