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High school students help Valley widow rebuild home

Valley students help rebuild home
Posted at 6:05 PM, Feb 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-04 20:26:24-05

GLENDALE, AZ — Students with Western Maricopa Education Center are getting hands-on experience by rebuilding homes for families in need.

On Friday, about a dozen high schoolers worked with volunteers and the group Operation Enduring Gratitude, a Valley nonprofit that rebuilds homes for veterans and their families.

The group is helping LaGean Levar who lost her husband Phillip, a Navy veteran, about a year ago.

Organizers told ABC15 her house was going to be condemned until Operation Enduring Gratitude offered to help.

"We give back, we educate, we train, inspire, hopefully, and we're just getting things done," said Charlie Ellis, an instructor at West MEC.

Ellis, an Army veteran, founded the nonprofit and thought it would be a good time to give his students real-world experience.

He also hopes they learn the importance of giving back.

"There's a personal satisfaction with helping somebody that can't help themselves and that, I hope, will carry them more through life than swinging a hammer," he said.

The project is supposed to be finished in the coming month but students said they like giving back.

"It means a lot. We get to see something rebuilt and she gets to have a new life," said Gabriel Gourgue.

Malachi Mizysak shared that same sentiment.

"Personally, it means a lot to me but just getting the chance to help others is something really cool," he said.