Gayton Baptist Church Rehabs Homes of Veterans in Millville Summer of 2014

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Group requested city work together to better Millville

Former Millville native Bill Nayda contacted me earlier this year and asked if Millville would welcome his group of volunteers from the Gayton Baptist Church in Virginia to rehab the homes of qualified military veterans. I welcomed the opportunity. With the hard work of Samantha Fisher from my Department of Public Affairs, the necessary arrangements were made. In July, 50 young people and 25 adults from the Gayton Baptist Church arrived in our city and, along with help of volunteers from Millville, worked on 17 properties throughout our town.

The volunteers put in more than 2,700 hours of work worth approximately $75,000 and supplied $50,000 in building materials. They replaced roofs, painted houses, rebuilt decks and replaced windows, ceilings and fences. I had the personal privilege to work with them and visit several of the jobs they were doing. I spoke with the homeowners who were amazed at the quality of the work and thankful for what was done.

Many people and organizations in the city of Millville were involved with this volunteer project. The school board allowed the volunteers to stay at Holly Heights School. Wheaton Village held a glass demonstration for the group. The Millville Elks and some of the area churches provided meals. Area merchants and farmer markets supplied food, equipment and building supplies. A Millville electrician donated his labor. Many Millville residents helped with the rehabilitation and served or donated food. Different city departments also helped: The police increased their patrols, the fire department supplied cooling stations and meals were served at the American Legion. Commissioner Joe Sooy’s department helped in the disposal of the construction debris and hosted a movie night to conclude the week.

Beside the fact that this project brought the entire town together, one of the truly amazing things to me was this generous group had volunteered their time, their money and their talents but kept thanking me for allowing them to come to our city. We can never repay them for all they did, nor do they expect to be repaid.

Their only request was that Millville keep what they started going, namely the entire city working together to better Millville. I trust that others in the city are as inspired by this wonderful project as I am and will join me in keeping this positive change in motion.

Lynne Porreca Compari

City Commissioner



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