Jack L. Ward passed away Sunday, October 15 at his home in Athens where he was being cared for by family members after enduring many months of debilitating illness related to heart disease and lung cancer. He was 82 years old.
Podcast by Tim Howard
Story by Michael V. Hannigan
Since 1986, Labor of Love has been providing free home repairs to those who can no longer maintain their homes “due to age, disability or other circumstances beyond their control.”
The faith-based organization averages 130 to 140 projects a year and has had an incredible impact on the people of Henderson County, one ramp and one repair at a time.
HCN’s Tim Howard sat down recently with Athens Samaritans Labor of Love President Roy Talbot to talk about the program. (Listen to the podcast above for some great stories from Roy Talbot)
Talbot says Labor of Love covers the entire county.
“Trinidad to Chandler and all points in between,” he said.
Applicants do go through a screening process stating their income level, age and circumstances.
“In 99 percent of the cases we see it is obvious that the home repairs are needed,” said Talbot.
Labor of Love spotlights four major groups: the handicapped, indigent elderly, single mothers raising children, and grandmothers raising grandchildren.
“Our primary focus is health and safety issues,” Mr. Talbot said.
Talbot said that includes things like installing grab bars in the bathroom, widening bathroom doors to accommodate wheelchairs, changing out bathtubs for standing showers and, of course, installing wheelchair ramps.
“One of the neat things about our organization is, for the volunteers and the project managers, they can immediately see the difference in the life of that person,” said Talbot.
Labor of Love works all year long.
“All of my searching across the internet convinces me that we are unique in the nation,” Talbot said. “That is an amazing statement to make. There are other organizations that are similar, but none do what we do.”
Major contributors for the program are Henderson County United Way, the Cain Foundation, the Murchison Foundation, other foundations, churches, businesses, and individuals.
Contact the Labor of Love office by calling 903-675-LOVE.
(Follow Michael V. Hannigan on Instagram/Twitter @mvhannigan)
By Toni Garrard Clay/AISD Communications Coordinator
Athens-based children’s author Sharon Ellsberry, author “The Spaniel Family” books, teamed up with 12 local businesses in order to give all Athens ISD second-graders a copy of “The Spaniel Family’s Thanksgiving.”
“We’re happy to be able to do this at all three campuses this year,” said Ellsberry. “We want to let the students know that their community cares about them, and we also want to encourage the joy of reading.”
Last week, Trinity Valley Community College was named one of 150 community colleges eligible to compete for the 2019 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance in America’s community colleges. For the fourth consecutive time, TVCC was selected from a pool of nearly 1,000 public two-year colleges nationwide to compete for the $1 million Aspen Prize.
“I am very proud of our faculty, staff, administration, and board of trustees at TVCC,” said TVCC President Dr. Jerry King. “The award certainly validates TVCC’s commitment to its students and communities it serves.”
Last week, the Cedar Creek Lake Area Chamber of Commerce took a moment to honor E.H. “Bud” Henry for his many contributions to the community. Mr. Henry recently moved out of Henderson County. As a retired Army Colonel, Mr. Henry was a natural working with Leadership Cedar Creek Lake for the chamber and also served as the GBC City Manager and the ECCFWSD General Manager during his time at the lake. Pictured presenting him with a plaque is Chamber President Jo Ann Hanstrom.