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Community building days set for Operation Katie

Tom Joyce Staff Reporter

8 months 7 days 13 hours ago |924 Views | | | Email | Print

DOBSON — The public has been generous with donations of money and building materials to help provide a handicapped-accessible home for a local family — now Operation Katie can use some elbow grease.


That includes community volunteers to help with building tasks over the next two weekends, not unlike what occurred with the barn-raisings of old.


“We have two big work days scheduled this Saturday and the following Saturday,” Casey Mitchell, who is part of a group of about 10 Dobson-area residents trying to help the Katie Bledsoe family, said Thursday.


Katie, a recent graduate of Surry Central High School, suffered a traumatic brain injury in a 1994 car accident when she was a small child. An accompanying stroke affected the right side of her body and Katie now spends most of her time in a wheelchair that can’t even fit through the front door of the family’s present home.


The effort to help, which sprang from a church Bible study group, involves constructing the new residence that will enable Katie to become more mobile and better cope with her disability.


Organizers held a variety of fundraisers to generate an initial total of about $80,000 in monetary contributions and building materials for the house.


It is being constructed at 146 Promise Lane, located just off N.C. 268 in the Fairview area southwest of Dobson, beside the Bledsoes’ existing double-wide mobile home.


The house has taken shape and the Operation Katie group is hoping to complete even more work during the effort over the next two Saturdays. “We’re completely dried in,” Mitchell said of the fact that the shell of the structure is finished.


No Experience Required

Everyone and anyone who can assist is needed during the community work days, added Mitchell, who explained that have previous construction experience is not a requirement.


“There’s work for all skill levels, and plenty of it,” he said. “I guess the long and short of it is there will be plenty to do for everybody.”


Work this Saturday will include preparations for the installation of sheetrock and a deck for the house, plus some outside tasks. It is hoped that enough progress will be made to hang the sheetrock on the second work day on Nov. 16.

“We’ll probably get started about 7 o’clock (a.m.) and we’ll stay as long as somebody wants to stay and work,” Mitchell said of the schedule for the two days.

Reach Tom Joyce at 719-1924 or tjoyce@civitasmedia.com.

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