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Rebuilding Together volunteers fix up a home in Annawan

Rebuilding Together Henry County and Wells Fargo partnered to provide $9,000 worth of repairs, including a new furnace, for an Annawan homeowner.

ANNAWAN, Ill. — Volunteers from all over Henry County came together Saturday morning to help provide much needed repairs to one home in Annawan. 

It's all part of Rebuilding Together Henry County, a national organization that helps repair and revitalize homes for low income homeowners. Rebuilding Together partnered with Wells Fargo to provide about $9,000 worth of repairs to this one home. 

"This is our first workday we've had since 2019," Executive Director Sarah Snyder said. "We're really excited to be able to get back into the community to serve our homeowners in need."

It's also the first house in Annawan volunteers have worked on for four or five years. Volunteers repainted the exterior and added new gutters on Saturday morning. Other repairs included adding new smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. 

"I think this year has been a real challenge for a lot of people," Snyder said. "The pandemic has been really difficult, and it's important for us as an organization to create safe and healthy homes. This is a wonderful opportunity to provide that, and creating a house, but really, we want it to be a home."

Snyder added that the types of repairs depends on the home, but they do always want to provide fire safety.

Two of the biggest additions are a new air conditioning unit and a new furnace. This homeowner and her two young boys have been without a furnace since it broke last spring. She had originally reached out to Rebuilding Together Henry County for help getting a new one. 

"Winter is approaching," Snyder said. "I know we don't want it to be winter yet, but it's gonna be here before we know it. (The new furnace) is really going to provide her with a much warmer house to live in. We hope ... (providing) a more energy efficient furnace and then some of the other repairs will help her bottom-line costs of owning a home."

About 15 volunteers came to provide their services Saturday morning. 

"I've been doing this for 10 years, and I'm always amazed at how giving people are, and I think that's the bottom line." Snyder said. "It's wonderful to be able to give back to people that maybe aren't as fortunate as yourself."

Since 2010, Wells Fargo has donated more than $16 million to Rebuilding Together nationally, and in 2019, the financial service company made a $1 billion commitment to address the U.S. affordability housing crisis through 2025.