Volunteers band together to aid disabled soldier in Middleboro
MIDDLEBORO — The Build Brigade is coming to town on Dec. 11, 12 and 13 to break ground on a home for Staff Sgt. Michael Downing, who lost his legs during his second deployment to Afghanistan in 2008.
The weekend-long marathon, headed by Homes for Our Troops, needs help raising the walls, roofing, shingling and siding.
Volunteers who are not in the trades can help cleaning the site, feed the workers or fill out paperwork.
The work will be overseen by Dominic and Matthew Falconeiri, owners of Falconeiri Construction of Middleboro. The father and son have volunteered their services as general contractors on the job.
"Very simply, it’s just the right thing to do," said Matthew Falconeiri. "When a person such as Michael Downing has given his services and the sacrifices he made, you can’t take into account the economy."
For Falconeiri, all it took was a phone call and within hours he was signing up at the headquarters for Homes for Our Troops in Taunton.
Falconeiri said volunteers don’t have to sign up for the Build Brigade, they can just show up and give their time or skills.
Falconeiri will be on site everyday overseeing all aspects of construction until Downing, his wife, Dawnalee, and their four children move in.
"I look forward to handing over the keys so he can enjoy his home," Falconeiri said.
Homes for Our Troops bought a lot for the home on Marion Road. The closest address to the site is 90 Marion Road, and it will be well marked. Work begins at 8:30 a.m. on Dec. 11, following opening ceremonies.
It won’t be all work, there’ll be some play during the three-day build off. On Saturday night at 6:30, a fundraiser will be held at the high school featuring Sheila Van Dyke’s comedy show. On Sunday, Homes for Our Troops is sponsoring a holiday extravaganza from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the high school with raffles, crafts and pictures with Santa.
The weekend will wind up with a chili competition at the site, music and hot chocolate.
Homes for Our Troops is national non-profit group founded in 2004 to build homes for service members who have returned home with serious disabilities and injuries. Call Doreen Lewis-Hout, project facilitator, at 508-823-3300, Ext. 208, to volunteer services or goods.
In 2004, Homes for Our Troops broke ground in Middleboro to build its first home for Army Sgt. Peter Damon, who lost both arms when he was working on a Black Hawk helicopter and a tire exploded.