Knoxville family gets free home remodel for son's new power whee

Knoxville family gets free home remodel for son's new power wheelchair

Posted:
A group of construction volunteers is renovating Eli James's home, free of charge, to make it wheelchair accessible. A group of construction volunteers is renovating Eli James's home, free of charge, to make it wheelchair accessible.
The $30,000 renovation will be free for the family, courtesy of Rebuilding Together Knoxville, an all-volunteer non-profit that does home repair for those in need. The $30,000 renovation will be free for the family, courtesy of Rebuilding Together Knoxville, an all-volunteer non-profit that does home repair for those in need.
"This will be the first time he can actually explore his own home without asking us to pick him up and move him somewhere. He's never had that," said Dawn James, Eli's mother. "This will be the first time he can actually explore his own home without asking us to pick him up and move him somewhere. He's never had that," said Dawn James, Eli's mother.
"You know, Knoxville is a great town because companies come out of the woodwork and they help you and they volunteer and they donate labor and they donate time and that's what's happening today," said Chris Bieger, president of the board. "You know, Knoxville is a great town because companies come out of the woodwork and they help you and they volunteer and they donate labor and they donate time and that's what's happening today," said Chris Bieger, president of the board.
By JILL MCNEAL
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - You may remember the little Knoxville boy who got his power wheelchair paid for by online donations from over the world. Another blessing has come this week for Eli James, 3, and his family. A group of construction volunteers is renovating their home, free of charge, to make it wheelchair accessible. 

Previous story: Donations buy wheelchair and van for Knoxville boy

Eli, diagnosed with the most severe form of spina bifida, is getting a bigger bedroom and bathroom that will accommodate his new customized power wheelchair. He got it earlier this summer after a huge online fundraising effort.

The $30,000 renovation will be free for the family, courtesy of Rebuilding Together Knoxville, an all-volunteer non-profit that does home repair for those in need. 

More online: Rebuilding Together Knoxville

"You know, Knoxville is a great town because companies come out of the woodwork and they help you and they volunteer and they donate labor and they donate time and that's what's happening today," said Chris Bieger, president of the board.

One of the most important features of this renovation will be a ramp for Eli's new power wheelchair. They can't even get it in the house right now, but in two weeks, the ramp will run from the driveway to the back door, so Eli can go anywhere on the first floor of his house.

"This will be the first time he can actually explore his own home without asking us to pick him up and move him somewhere. He's never had that," said Dawn James, Eli's mother.

Since Eli's older sister Skylar is giving up her bedroom to expand Eli's, Rebuilding Together Knoxville is transforming the basement into a special space just for her.

"It's kind of hard to wrap your mind around people doing something so generous for you. It's kind of hard to feel worthy of that. It's such a blessing," Dawn said.

Companies donating to the effort include:
  • Messer Construction Co.
  • McCarty Holsaple McCarty Architects & Interior Design
  • Massey Electric Company
  • Cherokee Millwright & Mechanical, Inc.
  • Cook Bros. Construction
  • E. Luke Greene Company, Inc.
  • Bonitz Flooring Group, Inc.
  • S&ME
  • Harrison Construction Company
  • Finish Point Trim and Millwork
  • MHJ Quality Cleaning Services 
  • Corporate Quarters


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