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  • Last modified 2001 days ago (May 29, 2013)

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Aulne church responds to need

Staff writer

In three days, Aulne Church members and other volunteers had cleared away two trailers full of debris and at least a dozen truckloads of overhanging trees from Julie Starks’ property in Aulne.

Forty-seven people showed up on Memorial Day to help with the house project. Under the watchful eye of project coordinators Dan Hague, Dennis Riggs, and Mark Whitney, the crew had built most of a front porch and applied one coat of paint to the house exterior. The crew accounted for about 43 percent of the Aulne United Methodist Church congregation.

“I don’t know if would be able to do this on my own in the next 10 years,” Starks said. “I’ve been working my rear-end off.”

Paint was donated by neighbor Vern Snyder. Lifting cranes were donated by Riggs roofing company and others.

Starks works at Zimmerman’s in Marion but also makes cakes and draws portraits to earn a living. She is providing for her two daughters Nolie, 8, and Acacia, 6. Time and resources were at a premium for Starks.

She had moved into the house 18 months ago. She previously lived across the street. She swapped residences with an elderly couple because she needed more space.

She prayed to get some help for the house, which she inherited in a state of disrepair. Although she is not a member of the Aulne Church, her prayers were answered.

Last year, Tina Hague and the Aulne youth group traveled to San Marcos, Texas for a home-repair mission. They wanted to move their mission work closer to home.

“There’s so many places around here (that need help),” Hague said.

The Hagues live just north of Starks in Aulne. They had always remarked that the single mother could use some help.

“It’s nice to help somebody trying to help herself,” Tina Hague said.

Hague broached the idea of working on Starks’ home at a Sunday school session and it was well-received. About 12 people went on the trip to San Marcos, 44 people signed up to help Starks and even more showed up.

Another of Starks’ neighbors, Eugene Just, who lives to the south, was the one to deliver the news. He gave her a cryptic phone call before meeting her one night. Starks said she pondered all day why Just would want to talk to her.

“Did my dog do something?” she said.

Starks said she responded to the news by jumping and clapping, unable to contain her glee, a feeling she has maintained over the course of construction.

“My head is spinning. I couldn’t sleep last night,” she said. “I couldn’t get my brain to stop working.”

Last modified May 29, 2013

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