Date: October 3, 2009
About: Amie ODell Hoebing - Class of 1988
Army of volunteers show up to help Quincy family put new roof on home, tackle other projects after head of household confined to wheelchair
Joe and Amie Hoebing's home on Midlan Drive was bustling with activity this weekend.
Friends and family -- and total strangers -- came together to put a new roof on the couple's home and tackle several other home improvement projects.
Hoebing, who was diagnosed in 2001 with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, was touched by the generosity of the army of volunteers willing to lend a helping hand.
"To get this kind of support is overwhelming," Hoebing said. "I'm surprised by the number of people out here helping. There are some people here, I don't even know their names.
"It's been like this all through my illness. Every time we've needed anything, the community has stepped up to help," Hoebing said.
Michelle Soltwedel helped organize the volunteer effort.
"We've known Joe and Amie for a while. Our kids go to school together at St. James Lutheran School," she said.
When she found out that the Hoebings needed a new roof, she started making phone calls. She said the response from family, friends, neighbors, church members and local businesses has been tremendous.
Volunteers started at about 7 a.m. Friday and are expected to work throughout the weekend.
"We have about 25 people here today (Friday). We'll have more tomorrow," Soltwedel said.
In addition to replacing the roof, the volunteers are putting on new gutters, restaining and repairing the deck, doing concrete work in the driveway, installing new carpeting and painting some rooms in the home.
"The roof is the main thing we wanted to get done," Soltwedel said.
She said friends, family, members of Missouri Synod Lutheran churches and people who used to work with Hoebing at Unisource are helping with the projects. Several local businesses donated materials, food and drinks.
"It makes you feel awesome. Quincy is such a great community," Soltwedel said.
"We're just glad they let us help them," she added. "They're a great family. They'd be the first ones to do it if they could. We're really excited about that."
The Hoebings' children, Olivia, 13, and Nathan, 10, were watching the action on Friday, and the entire family is grateful for the help they're receiving.
Hoebing said that without the help, the family wouldn't have been able to get the repairs done.
"We'd be facing tough decisions," he said.
"It's hard to put into words," Amie Hoebing said as she watched the volunteers on Friday afternoon. "Thank you doesn't seem enough."