Jackson EMC Linemen Build Roof for Needy Family
A team of Jackson EMC linemen recently helped build a covered deck for a Danielsville family whose adult children have special needs.
Jackson EMC’s linemen learned of the need for the project through the SONIC (Serving Our Neighbors In Christ) organization at Jones Chapel United Methodist Church.
“The Johnson family is a pillar in our Danielsville community,” said Jeff Strickland, the SONIC project manager. When church members visited the family recently, they saw the need for a covered deck because the afternoon sun made it too hot for their daughters, who are in wheelchairs, to sit outside without shelter.
Fortunately, Strickland’s longtime friend, Jackson EMC Journeyman Lineman Dwayne Dickerson, had contacted him earlier about doing volunteer projects in the community.
“Our linemen are eager to help families in our community,” said Dickerson. “We enjoy carpentry as a hobby, so we like to find service projects where we can build something and make a difference for a family.”
Dickerson’s colleagues from the cooperative’s office in Hull brought their own tools to set posts, built ceiling joists and installed a metal roof addition to the deck for the parents in their early 70s and two adult children with physical and mental disabilities.
When Journeyman Lineman Tommy Minish mentioned the project to his dad, who retired from the construction industry, he decided to help, too. “Growing up, dad instilled in us a desire to help others,” said Minish. “So, it was natural for him to be there, and he was a big help in sawing the wood for us.”
“We take the cooperative principle of ‘Concern for Community’ very seriously,” said Kevin Bost, engineering and operations director for the Neese office. “Most of our linemen [in the Neese office] grew up in Madison County, so it’s personal for them—they know the families they are helping.”
Jim and Becky Johnson and their two daughters are now able to enjoy sitting outside. “The roof is really nice, and we can sit outside in the shade now,” said Mrs. Johnson. “We appreciate the Jackson EMC linemen spending their day building the roof for us.”
According to Strickland, SONIC’s team of community volunteers select seven to 10 local projects each summer, ranging from yard clean-ups to home renovations and modifications for senior citizens, veterans and families in need. SONIC partners with local companies to supply donations and volunteers.