Volunteers Helping Idaho Park Residents

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August 22, 2011 by   - () Leave a Comment

After the "helping hands" they received Saturday morning, life will be much easier and more comfortable this winter for the owners of two trailer homes at Tamarack RV Park in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.

A team of about a half-dozen volunteers showed up to winterize the homes, providing other park residents with a couple of shining examples of the help they'll soon receive themselves, the Coeur d'Alene Press reported.

"There's a lot of people in here who could use the help," said park resident John Fink, who had his trailer winterized.

About 75 of the park's trailer-living families will get the same help on Sept. 17, as an estimated 600 volunteers take to the park for the "Helping Hands Day of Service."

Fink said there were days last winter when he struggled to keep the temperature in his trailer above 60 degrees. A couple of times during the winter his sewer line froze up.

On Saturday, Fink was helping the volunteers add foam to the skirting of his trailer, which he's lived in for a year. He also had plumbing insulated.

"A lot of the trailers in here are not meant for North Idaho" winters, he said.

Volunteer Rusty Dan said, "These are good, honest people that are down on their luck and need some help."

He said the volunteers, many from local churches and other public-service organizations, "wanted to do something that would really impact individual families."

They found "something" to do when someone suggested they help the dozens of families living in older, run-down trailers at Tamarack.

The Sept. 17 Day of Service will be a fpur-hour blitz of activity.

"By noon we'll be out of here and everything will be done," said Dan, a member of the Hayden Lake stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Saturday was a practice run.

David Holland, another resident at the park, said, "This makes my life easier. Some people can't really do it for themselves."

The 19-year-old Holland, who bought his 35-foot long home for $450, has a disc problem with his back. He also suffers from mental illnesses, he said.

The help from the volunteers will take a lot of stress and worry away come winter, he said.

A popular, longtime resident of the park named Blue, who declined to give his last name, said, "People that live here are living on the margins."

One tiny trailer was occupied by a family of five, including two babies. It also had a couple kittens living there. The roof of the family's trailer is in poor condition, with holes and insulation and wires showing through.

Dan said to winterize the trailers would cost the families an average of $400 to $500. That is money they don't have.

Among the winterizing efforts, volunteers will be installing foam skirting, insulating plumbing, and sealing roofs, he said.

The volunteers will be needing a lot of supplies to meet the needs of the park's trailer residents.

Needs will include foam wrap for hose, zip ties, heat tape, water-heater insulation, outside foam faucet covers, recycling bins, caulking and spray adhesive, among other items.

The volunteers also are hoping someone donates a trailer, as one family's place is extremely run down and winterizing it wouldn't help.

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