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OUR VIEW: Laborers ready, willing to spread the love

THE ISSUE: This year's Labor of Love housing rehab project

OUR VIEW: Ask yourself, could one of your neighbors use some help with their house?

Please pay attention. Someone you know — or perhaps even you — need to know about this.

On Saturday, Oct. 5, an estimated 250 to 300 volunteers will get up early, tools in hand, and spread out in neighborhoods.

You could be one of them or someone you know. So please pay attention to these details and let others know if this can be of help to them.

The Labor of Love project is put together through the United Way of Eastern La Salle County. Labor of Love helps low-income families rehab their homes, especially the elderly, disabled, veterans, widows of veterans and families with children. As of 2003, the program also helps spouses of active duty military personnel keep up their homes.

Almost all the work is done in that one day. Volunteers — many of whom are professionals simply giving their time — will work to remedy leaky roofs, broken steps, peeling paint, faulty wiring and plumbing, unruly yards, drafty doors and windows, sagging ceilings, rotten floors, dysfunctional furnaces and water heaters, as well as build ramps, install safety bars and smoke alarms, wash windows, clean gutters and check furnaces and change filters.

Corporate and community donations make this effort possible, along with memorials.

Your help as a volunteer is always needed, but now is the time to make sure needy families get on the list for help. So please share this information or step up if you can use the help.

To give eligible homeowners enough time to apply, the application deadline for the Labor of Love program has been extended to Tuesday, Aug. 20.

The following criteria meets eligibility:

• You must own and live in your home, with no plans to vacate or sell your home for at least five years after receiving repairs at no charge.

• Your home must be located within eastern La Salle County.

• Your home is insured under a homeowner’s policy.

• Your total gross household income from all adults living in the home must be within 50% of the median annual income.

• Applicants must lack the resources or physical ability to do the work themselves.

• Applicants must sign a homeowner waiver and agree to inspections of the property by the Labor of Love preview team.

Labor of Love applications are available at the drive-up windows of First National Bank of Ottawa, First Federal Savings Bank, First State Bank, Financial Plus Credit Union, Midland States Bank, Old Second Bank, Ottawa Savings Bank, Grand Ridge National Bank, Twin Oaks Savings Bank of Marseilles, the Marseilles Bank and First Midwest Bank of Seneca. Applications also are available at the United Way office, 601 State St., Ottawa.

Bridges Senior Center, a United Way Partner Agency, is available to assist older adults and people with disabilities complete an application.

For more information, contact United Way at 815-434-4003 or unitedwayelc@sbcglobal.net.

That's it. Who do you know that needs this help? Call them today.

See that they get the help they need.

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