SARATOGA -- More than 250 volunteers worked through the rain on homes at 11 sites throughout the county with Rebuilding Together Saratoga County.
RTSC is a nonprofit affiliate of a national organization. Food was provided for the volunteers from churches, a Girl Scout troop and some of their sponsors. Last year was the county group's first year and they completed work on five houses in the county.
Louise Rourke is on the board of directors and said Shelly (Michelle) Larkin was the mastermind behind getting a local chapter started.
'Three years ago we talked about a way of helping families,' Rourke said.
Rourke, volunteer coordinator of the house, said they had a pretty good turnout for a rainy day. Fifteen volunteers did work for Ann Atteo, the homeowner.
Atteo didn't think anyone was going to show up if it rained.
The rain didn't stop the volunteers, though.
Don Tomb said they put on a new side door, did some painting and were working on an awning over the front door. He said some of the girls did the masonry work for the retaining wall.
'We were working outside, mostly trying to beat the rain,' Tomb said. 'Now we will continue to work inside.'
Atteo said there was a lot of work to be done, that she can't do.
'I was ecstatic when I was picked,' Atteo said. 'Shelly is a godsend.'
The group also replaced a storm door for Atteo.
'That door has seen better days,' Tomb said. 'We're getting everything weather-tight inside.'
Tomb said whatever doesn't get done this weekend will be followed up in upcoming weekends.
Elaine Fisher said helping out is all worth it because of the satisfaction you get when the homeowner smiles.
Rourke said two families helped out at this site, the Smiths and Carmers.
'It's great when a whole family comes out,' Rourke said. 'The kids appreciate so much more what they have when they help out.'
Atteo agrees it's good when young people help out.
'They have energy and learn it's good to help people especially at a young age,' Atteo said. 'Its great parents teach it. It is wonderful to have an organization like this.'
Dan Larkin and Lee Ecker were the site leaders of around 40 volunteers. Ecker said they've done lots of things including putting in windows on the first floor, roof repairs, vinyl siding and planting flowers out front.
'The rain slowed us down a little,' Ecker said.
Larkin said they will be back next weekend to continue to work on the house.
'We have a lot of dedicated people here,' he said. 'This provides people who want to volunteer an opportunity to role up their sleeves and help out in the community.'
Ecker said projects like this helps build the community.
Larkin said they had some hard working kids helping out as well.
Jill McPherson, 13, Peter Palumbo, 9, and Shane Larkin, 14, were just some of the youths pitching in.
A house in the city needed both exterior and interior renovations.
Casey Rosen was the volunteer leader at this site and said they got most of the outside yard work done before it started raining. She said the group of 12 volunteers started working around 8 a.m.
They painted the entire downstairs and reinsulated and weatherized the entire home. The homeowner was losing a lot of heat and paying a large monthly bill, she said.
Rosen agreed with other volunteer leaders in how great it is for kids to get involved in the community.
'It's important for them to see they can make a difference,' Rosen said. 'It's been a fun day, rain and all. Everyone has been enthusiastic.'