WWII combat vet, 96, gets surprise helping hand from volunteer contractors

William Harrison is 96-years-old, a WWII combat-injured veteran and has lived in his home in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, for 50 years. In honor of National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, he got an unexpected helping hand with some of his home upkeep.

The nonprofit Rebuilding Together and Lowe’s sent out a crew of contractors to fix up his home Saturday.

“All these years, this is the first time in my life that I had someone come in and really open the door and give me a hand,” Harrison said.

Barbara Cupp, with Rebuilding Together, laid out the plan of action for Harrison’s house.

“The scope today is sliding glass doors and electrical,” she said.

Volunteer contractors also replaced his roof.

The nonprofit has done over 27 projects like this so far this year. Cupp said they don’t ask for much time from their volunteers in effort to not burn anyone out.

“With one day a year from contractors, we could probably fix the whole county, literally,” Cupp said.

She said they welcome anyone to help, especially those with skills that geared toward the more complicated home repairs.

Harrison is also hopeful more people will continue to show up and make a difference.

“I just didn’t expect all this,” Harrison said. “I think they the most wonderful people that I’ve ever been involved with and I hope it continues.”

Harrison has lived in this home in Anne Arundel County for 50 years.
Volunteer contractors work to fix Harrison's sliding door.
The nonprofit Rebuilding Together said they are always looking for volunteers with specialized skills for those tricky repair jobs.
William Harrison is a 96-year-old WWII combat veteran. On Saturday, Dec. 7, a group of volunteer contractors surprised him with some help on home maintenance projects.

Melissa Howell

Melissa Howell joined WTOP Radio in March 2018 and is excited to cover stories that matter across D.C., as well as in Maryland and Virginia. 

This article was written by WTOP’s news partners at Maryland Matters and republished with permission. Sign up for Maryland Matters’ free email subscription today.

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