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Neighbors band together to help out an Alexandria couple

Saturday - 4/30/2011, 1:43pm  ET

Volunteers helping out at the Alexandria home of Arminta and William. (Max Smith/WTOP)
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Max Smith,

ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Nearly 1,000 volunteers helped a neighbor out Saturday, turning out in Alexandria for National Rebuilding Day.

Rebuilding Together Alexandria volunteers had already been out to Arminta's house to put together a small wheelchair ramp to help her bring her husband William outside.

The volunteers returned Saturday to patch up a shed, remove some old wood frames, and patch up cracks in the front steps.

William has been in a wheelchair since he had a stroke 30 years ago.

"It was kind of a project every time he came out of the door, but now it's just wonderful," she says.

The 84- and 92-year-old have lived in the home for nearly 53 years.

"I really appreciate this so very very much," she says.

Arminta would still like to do much of the work herself, but says that's not realistic any more.

"You know you think that you have prepared for times like this, but you know you don't really realize what it's like to get older, and you can't do it. And the funds are different also."

Rebuilding Together Alexandria's executive director Katherine Medina says about a thousand volunteers turned out to work on roughly 60 homes in Alexandria, joining 200,000 volunteers working on 10,000 projects nationwide.

Alexandria Mayor William Euille and other city council members joined the volunteers, pitching in to help with the work at another house.

"It's a day of respect, it's a day of appreciation, and it's a day to express love for each other. That's what it's all about," Euille says.

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(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)