JROTC students help construct Lincoln home

Do you remember the weather this past Saturday morning? It was cloudy, cold and damp; perfect weather to stay warm under the covers and sleep in.


From left to right: Marcus Potter, Austin Taylor, Charmane Parker, Michael Perez M. and Kurtis Henschel. Special to The Chronicle

But that’s not what four young men from the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) program at Sussex Central High School did. No, they were up bright and early to meet Lieutenant Colonel Greg Snapp and take a short drive to Lincoln to help build a new home.

The cadets and their commander volunteered their time and their talents to help a team of four families building homes in the Milford Housing Development Corporation’s (MHDC) Self-Help Housing Program. This team, group 31, are known as “The Blessing Angels” and this Saturday morning they felt blessed again by these volunteers.

“The mission of JROTC is to motivate young people to become better citizens. We participate in a variety of competitive team events to improve our abilities in marksmanship, drill competition and physical fitness,” said Marcus Potter, a senior at Sussex Central High School.

“We also do a lot of volunteer work throughout the year“, added Austin Taylor, also a senior at SCHS. “My dad, Bruce Taylor, is a Construction Supervisor at MHDC. He works directly with the families who are building their homes, teaching them everything they need to know about construction. A couple of weeks ago when the JROTC was looking for new ways to volunteer in the community, I brought the idea of volunteering to help build a home to Colonel Snapp and here we are!”

The home under construction is located in Cedar Creek Landing in Lincoln, a development that includes a large number of Self-Help homes.

“I was really surprised when we pulled into this neighborhood this morning,” shared Kurtis Hedschel, a junior at Sussex Central High School. As they drove past one specific home, Kurtis explained, “I helped build my grandmother’s house, that one, right there, over 10 years ago. Actually, I was a little kid, and they really didn’t let me do too much, but I remember everyone coming out to help my grandmother build her home. It is a very vivid memory. It is totally cool that I am back today, helping someone else do the same, so many years later.”

Lieutenant Colonel Snapp and his cadets from Sussex Central High School effectively doubled the size of the team working on Charmane Parker’s house this Saturday. Ms. Parker is a member of the Blessing Angels team. In less than eight hours they helped to build and stand three exterior walls; quite an accomplishment.

Ms. Parker sang their praises. “They are really young, and they could be anywhere this morning, like home, sleeping, but they’re not! These young men are really hard workers, they are just awesome and such a blessing to me, helping build my home! I hope they come back again to help some more,” she said.

MHDC’s Homeownership Program Manager Dave Szumski explained further, saying, “Currently there are 18 Self-Help families working as part of four teams building their homes in Kent and Sussex County. We have a new group of five families that should start in April. We also have plans for three additional groups, or another 18 families, to get started in 2016. We are always looking for individuals and groups to come out and lend a hand to our families building their homes.”

If you or your organization has any questions about the Self-Help Housing Program, or would like information on volunteer opportunities, please call the Milford Housing Development Corporation at 302-422-8255 or visit our website at www.milfordhousing.com .

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