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Building compassion

Friday 18 November 2011

From Milwaukee's 620 WTMJ Newsradio:


620 WTMJ NewsradioBuilding compassion

By Carole Meekins CREATED OCT. 10, 2011 - UPDATED: OCT. 10, 2011

MILWAUKEE- Jacquelyn Windom is battling so many health problems, they are hard for even her to remember, she shares them with TODAY'S TMJ4.

"Rheumatoid Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Sjogren's Syndrome, and Lupus." Windom explains, "It's very difficult. Every day is basically pain. I don't ever get a respite. I just try to put a smile on my face."

But these days, Jacquelyn has reasons to smile. Thanks to good Samaritans constructing compassion.  Students and staff from Community High School are working with the NARI Foundation to renovate Jacquelyn's home.

Their goal? Make the home more accessible for 26-year-old Windom. Teacher Joel McElrone oversees the students. "I love the classroom, but it gets tedious sometimes. I love being out here in the community doing work for others." Student Timothy Roach agrees, "It makes me feel good."

The entire project has touched the heart of Jacquelyn's mother Brenda Strong Windom. She's shares, "This will give her the opportunity to feel more a part of society and be able to  positive things."

The NARI Foundation has given more than 150 thousand dollars to the local community in scholarships, grants, and funds. Tom Callen, Sr. Vice President of Callen Construction is a key liaison. Callen explains, "Most of our funds come from Milwaukee NARI Home Improvement Council members. They see a return on their investment into the foundation by giving back to the community."

Callen finds the work of the NARI Foundation rewarding. He says, "To see the value of those students get from those scholarships is extremely I gratifying not only to myself, the foundation, but all of our members."

And the face-lift on the home is impressive. Volunteers and students even put in a lovely garden. 26 year old Jacquelyn admits, the kindness brings tears to her eyes. She exclaims, "It's a true blessing. I'm so honored! It takes my breath away. They kids are wonderful. They've become family. I love each of them to death."


The above originally appeared here.


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