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California veteran receives house upgrade thanks to local nonprofit

By MATTHEW ADKINS | The Times-Herald (Tribune News Service) | Published: May 12, 2017

A little over 40 years ago, a home in the 500 block of Sheldon Avenue was purchased by Syble Mitchell and her husband.

The couple were both in the military for decades, with her husband serving 25 years and Mitchell serving 23 years in the Navy.

Since her husband’s death, it’s been difficult for Mitchell, now 87 years old, to maintain the medical bills and mortgage, much less her house and yard.

On Thursday, her quality of life was much improved thanks to the efforts of a group of volunteers. The team behind local nonprofit organization Rebuilding Together Solano County have once again stepped up to provide free yard work and remodeling to Mitchell’s home.

“(Mitchell) is a fantastic home owner and very appreciative of what we’re doing,” said Rebuilding Together Solano’s Executive Director Elizabeth Hoffman. “She’s really been a sweetheart and was out here earlier helping us make thank you cards for the volunteers.”

As partners in the effort, Jennifer Rosendall and approximately 15 volunteers from Wells Fargo Bank donated their time and $15,000 to the remodeling of Mitchell’s home Thursday. Wells Fargo also donated another $15,000 to help with another home in the future. Also donated from various local businesses were dumpsters, tote boxes, a porta potty and food, as well as an ample supply of building materials from Home Depot.

“It’s absolutely wonderful to be helping out the veteran homeowner here in Vallejo,” Rosendall said Thursday. “She’s been a homeowner here for many years and her husband also served many years for our country, so it’s really an honor to give back and help her do some improvements around her home.”

Rosendall explained her group of volunteers regularly help out Rebuilding Solano Together and look forward to the clean-ups every year.

“It usually comes together pretty easily thanks to the help from everyone involved,” Rosendall said. “We have tons of team members that want to volunteer each time we do this. A lot of them are managers, some tellers and bankers. It’s a pretty good variety. They’ve enjoyed it in the past and want to come back and do it again.”

Mitchell modestly did not want to give a comment Thursday as volunteers were staining her fence, but Hoffman shared a written letter from the family that was passed on to her thanking Rebuilding Solano Together for their efforts.

“Thank you for being such a blessing to my mother,” the message read. “You are an angel sent from Heaven. My mom has given this world so much in her past life and your blessing has brought light to her greatness and giving heart. You have touched our lives in a special way.”

This will be Rebuilding Together Solano’s 27th home completed with renovations in Solano County since the group began its work in June 2009.

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©2017 Times-Herald (Vallejo, Calif.)
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